5 Ways to Remain Civil Business Partners Post-Divorce

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Spousal divorce doesn't mean the end of your business partnership. Here are 5 tips to make it work with your ex.

After a long history and a marriage, and a business partnership you find you and your partner heading for divorce. Now that you and your ex-spouse have assumed permanent separation, is it possible that you continue to work together in the business that you both started together earlier?

According to Mediate.com, psychologists revealed that when marriages fall apart, the values and preferences of the couple differ, making it tough to maintain business partnerships. Despite the difficulty of the situation, there are various examples where, due to their determination and maturity, couples were able to pull off a successful business even after their divorce.

The divorced couple's approach was to separate their professional and personal life (which sometimes is the toughest thing to do) and concentrate on what lies ahead of them.

See related: The Business of Breaking Up: How to Protect Your Company In a Divorce

Here are 5 tips on how to work with your ex, post- divorce:

1. Respect Each Other's Confidentiality

A marriage means knowing each other well, including being aware of mutual secrets; some of which have the potential to wreck the other. This information should not be shared with your business circle.

There might be instances where you are inclined to reveal one or two of their secrets to other employees to let out your frustration and annoyance, but take special care not to say anything. The more you respect each other’s private lives, the easier it becomes for you to be comfortable around them and focus.

2. Concentrate on Your Work

The next task, which is not as easy as it sounds, is to keep aside all emotions and dedicate yourself to the work. It has been scientifically proven that distracting yourself is the best way to get yourself out of high-intensity emotional traumas.

That said, what is better than a productive distraction? Focus on your work without worrying about what your ex-spouse might be thinking of you. You will soon find out that you both have started to move on.

3. Divide Your Roles

It is a decent strategy to keep away from each other in the initial few days of the divorce. Reason being, the presence of your ex will always remind you of all the wrong things that they have done to you. To avoid this, it is desirable that you distance yourself from your partner for a while and divide the roles among yourselves in such a way that your duties do not clash. Later, when enough time has passed for you both to recover, you should start interacting and sharing progress even though you have different roles. This is important because no business can run in pieces; for a prospering business both you and your ex. are required to work together and support each other.

4. Formalize Your Business Partnership

Now that your marriage has dissolved, and you both are financially independent, it’s time to re-formalize your business. Create an agreement stating precisely how the profits will be divided, how the assets will be shared if the partnership is dissolved, etc. Such an agreement will make your life very easy in future.

5. Welcome External Help

Many couples refrain from extending their hands for external help to prevent any intervention in their personal life. This is understandable. Nonetheless, divorce is not an easy process, and it requires a lot of patience and emotional intelligence to keep everything in a loop. If you are unable to deal with the process all alone, be open to outside help. There exist therapists who help you in sorting out your problems with your ex and help you communicate normally which is essential for your professional relationship. Furthermore, the lessons learned during therapy helps couples on every step and leave them proud of their decision to take external help.

Working together after marriage is an admirable goal. It must look unrealistic to many divorced couples due to the number of arguments they had during the process of divorce but, it is not impossible. Despite all the odds being against your marriage, your business together may work out if you possess tolerance and determination.

Even though your personal and professional lives have been interdependent in past, they can exist autonomously as well. The decision is up to you. Either you want to put an end to your business partnership after divorce and suffer financially as well, or you want to continue working and show your ex that their absence hasn’t broken your apart completely.

See related: Divorce Is a Business Threat: Protecting Your Company With a Prenup

Photo credit: Roman Motizov/Photostock

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