Collaborative Divorce and the Fate of the Family Business

You and your spouse may have founded or assumed ownership of the family business years ago and you both take pride in its success.

Now you are facing divorce and you fear losing control over the fate of the business in a courtroom battle. Collaborative divorce may present the perfect solution.

About the collaborative process

If you have made a name for yourself and the business you own, litigation is far from the ideal divorce option because of its expense, the length of time it involves, and last, but not least, the fact that in a court action, everything concerning your divorce is open for public inspection. In a collaborative divorce, meetings take place in private outside of court. Initially, you meet one-on-one with your attorney and work out the details including your preference as to the disposition of your business. Next, the two of you meet with your spouse and your spouse’s attorney. To assist in helping you reach a settlement agreement, you can also call in outside professionals such as an accountant and a business appraiser.

Business considerations

The primary options when deciding the fate of a business such as yours are to list it for sale and split the profits with your soon-to-be-ex, engage in a buy-out with your spouse, or continue as co-owners if you feel you can still work together after the divorce.

Future benefits from collaborative divorce

Collaborative divorce cuts down on the stress and expense of a lengthy litigation process and allows you the privacy you seek as well as control over the fate of the family business. As an added benefit, your ability to communicate and work with the other party toward common goals will serve you well in a post-divorce world.

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