It is important to leave one's personal problems at home when running a business. Most entrepreneurs understand this; however, this may be difficult when one runs a business with an ex-spouse. Many couples in Florida are faced with the decision of whether or not to continue running a business together after divorce. One couple who ran a firm together had to make this decision after their marriage ended.
The couple met while in law school during the late 1980s. Their relationship developed as they worked together in the law firm, which the husband had a hand in founding. In 1998, the couple decided to get married and the wife began performing a more active role in the law firm's daily operations. Eventually, the wife ended up owning a portion of the business, which they built into a 50-person law firm that emphasizes civil litigation.
However, despite the successful business, the couple's private life was unwinding, which caused the couple to divorce in 2006. At this point the couple had to make an important decision whether to continue operating the business together or agree to have one of the spouses leave. In the end, the couple was able to work out their differences and decided to continue running the business together.
According to the 2007 Census Bureau statistics, approximately 3.7 million businesses are owned by married couples. Combine this with the high rate of divorce, and it is becoming more common that divorcing couples in Florida will have to decide whether to continue operating their business together. It will save significant money on court expenses and legal fees if couples can come to an agreement in mediation. However, if this is not possible, it may be necessary to litigate the issue in court.
Source: The New York Times, "When Couples Divorce but Still Run the Business Together," Bryan Borzykowski, Dec. 5, 2012