When couples end their marriage, differences in all phases of life start emerging. This is one of the reasons why nobody wishes to talk about divorce at any stage of their life, whether married or in the process of preparing for marriage. While everything seems swift, business thrives because of the love that exists during the marriage, the reverse could also take place.
When separating couples are professional business partners, yet they cannot hold on to each other, they are confronted by three possibilities:
- Buying off the other couple and retaining the business rights
- Selling the business and dividing the proceeds amongst themselves
- Agreeing to work together as business partners.
The element of accepting each other and proceeding together as business partners seems unthinkable. This is because the former couple may have gone through so much pain to the extent that they would not want to see each other again.
However, after a number of considerations, you might find the resolve to continue working together. A number of businesses have thrived even after the family relations came to an end.
While it’s possible to remain business partners, there is a need then to come together and agree on the dos and don’ts for the success of the business. Some of these points to consider are as defined below;
1. Respect each other.
Seeing someone that caused a lot of hurt in your life is not a piece of cake. Meeting could prolong the healing process and cause more harm than good. But upon evaluating the business potential, it’s paramount to consult a therapist who would help to bridge the gap that has existed during the time of the divorce process.
A therapist will advise on the need for respect to each other, such that even the employees could hardly notice the difference that exists between the ex-spouses.
2. Ask for help.
At times, even after a therapist has taken you through the process, it becomes hard to accept reality. We feel that ex-partners will keep yelling and shouting at each other, even when at work. This does not have to be so. A therapist can walk you through the process, from the time the divorce papers are signed to the very end when you heal. They teach you how to communicate with each other, and remain calm even when things are bad, all for the good of maintaining the business relationship.
Once the separated couples accept the reality, the bitterness begins to be slowly erased in their minds. Life becomes routine, and they are no longer angry with each other. All that is needed here is patience and persistence to doing what is right according to the therapist’s advice of choice.
3. Set some ground rules.
In the case that the divorce proceedings are still on, and the partners are still in business, it’s always wise to set up rules. For instance, do not bring up issues relating to divorce at work. Solve them outside the workplace; keep the employees out of your family communications as this will create anxiety and fear of loss of jobs, while this is not the case. While at work, it’s essential to play the role of the boss and forget the painful issues that you could be going through.
4. Manage emotions.
It is a surprise that, when people dissolve their marriages, they end up becoming the best business partners. It could turn out that they were not meant for each other in matters concerning the family but could thrive best while working in business parameters.
Once the partners make up their mind that there is no choice but to annul the union, then it’s essential to manage the emotions no matter how difficult it may seem. This will open an opportunity for the couples to find grace for each other and continue with the business long after they are separated from each other.
5. Make the agreement formal;
Now that a decision is reached on moving forward as business partners despite breaking their marriage ties, it’s time to make any agreement relating to the business formal. An attorney could better do this because it will involve several issues that, if not tackled at the beginning, may bring problems later. Some of the contentious issues that need to be discussed and agreed upon include;
- In case one of the partners wishes to sell off the shares after a considerable business period, there should be a way forward on the ratio into which the shares should be bought off by the other partner. This could minimize any disputes that may come up if one person wishes to step down soon.
- When one remarries again, a clause needs to be in place to avoid him or her threatening the viability of the business by involving another party.
- Agree to trust your shareholding capacity and protect the business’s assets against fraud.
6. Communicate to the Employees;
This could be a hard task to do if the employees knew you as a husband and wife. But the minute the employees realize that the marital relationship is over through rumor, they may develop a fear of losing their jobs, and the zeal for working ends up declining. Its therefore essential to make it known formally that, despite the prevailing circumstances, the business will not by any means be affected.
By doing this, the employees will be confident of their employment, and job retention will be at par. This will also reduce staff being poached by competitors and, as such, allow the company to remain viable in the industry.
7. Remember there is a family;
Even after the divorce, there are family issues that must be managed. At times, a financial crisis may pose a burden to the business partners; other times, new relationships come up and may end up derailing the performance of the business. Therefore, keep in mind that any family relationships should be managed outside the workplace. New relationships should not be a reason to bring the business down.
While overwhelmed by emotions, take some time away from the business, have consistent counseling and get refreshed, By doing this, the business will thrive and survive for as long as the new business partners would wish to continue working together.
This said and done; it proves that it is possible to get divorced and remain business partners. Respect each other, have a vision and a goal, set boundaries, and you will be good to go.