One of the most beautiful things that can happen in a marriage, of course besides the arrival of a child, is for the spouses to be joint owners of a thriving family business which they both run. While this does not negate the possibility of, nor imply that there will never be frictions in the business, or that these frictions in the business might not spill into the marriage life. Baring that, and with the proper checks put in place, such as a proper chain of command and a clear delegation of who is boss in the business, it can indeed be a beautiful thing. More so one that can bring the couple even closer together and give them a more fulfilling life together.
However, like everything in life, there is always the positive and negative aspect of a married couple jointly owning and running a business. The one negative aspect this article wants to focus on, is a situation that might arise wherein the married couple starts to have troubles in their marriage (for reasons unrelated to their joint ownership of the business), trouble that leads to them deciding to go their separate ways in a divorce.
The question that then arises in such a situation, is how is the couple to go about settling the issue of their jointly owned business, in the event of the marriage coming to an end? Does one party buy out the other party out of the business? Do they continue being joint owners of the business, and continue to share the profits, but not necessarily both be involved in the day to day running of the business? There are no doubt many other such questions and uncertainties that both parties will need to figure out. And while they can attempt to settle these issues themselves, chances are they might not be able to come to an agreement on all terms, more so if the marriage is ending on a sour note with the couple at logger heads with each other.
One important thing the couple might want to do with regards to how to go about amicably settling the issue of their joint ownership of the business, is to involve the expertise and knowledge of a small business attorney NYC in all the discussions and negotiations, as their knowledge, as well and being a middle and unbiased person can very possibly help the couple reach a middle ground.
In the event of their not wanting to involve a business attorney in the matter, a very viable alternative they can look into, is to consult a family attorney or alternatively to seek mediation by way of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
The one advantage that an ADR mediator brings to the table is the fact that they can very possibly help resolve any issue regarding the pending separation or divorce, while at the same time settling the issue of the jointly owned business. A win-win situation.
So where can one find either a small business lawyer or an Alternative Dispute Resolution professional? The internet is always the first and best place one can look to. But more specifically, a good and trusted lawyer directory is a good place to find that small business lawyer. As these directories will usually allow you find lawyers by several different search filters, such as location, rating, price range and more.
One such good directory you can have a look at is www.bestlawyers.com. One very good thing about that directory is the fact that it is a peer-reviewed directory, so you can be sure that any lawyer or law firm you settle on, based on their high rating, already commands the respect of their fellow lawyers in the industry.
So once you have settled on a lawyer or ADR professional to help steer the couple through the murky waters of a divorce or separation as well as a “business divorce,” it is then left to the couple to go through the process as it pertains to their stakes in the business, with as little disruption to the normal daily running of the business as possible. The last thing the owners want is to allow their personal issues affect the running, profitability of even existence of the business, any of which could easily bring about the demise of the business.