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Tips for working with an ex who is a business partner

You and your spouse had a terrific business idea. Five years after you opened your doors, the company is worth $2.5 million.

Your marriage, however, isn't doing nearly as well. You're going to get divorced. You've been assuming you'll have to buy your spouse out or sell the company and split up the proceeds.

Don't assume those are your only options. Some divorced couples have managed to stay business partners, even though they didn't stay married. Below are a few tips that can help:

1. Keep emotions out of it.

This can be very hard during a divorce. Some couples work with therapists to get the assistance that they need. Just remember that emotions may impact the divorce and your personal life, but those should be separate from your professional life.

2. Know what roles you each have.

Maybe one of you is great at the behind-the-scenes work, while the other is great at meeting people and managing employees. Knowing the roles you both have allows you to put some distance between you and focus on doing what you do best -- the very things that have made your company so successful.

3. Draft a formal business agreement.

Now that you won't be married, start thinking of your ex exactly like you would any other business partner. Set up a business agreement, for example, that defines your jobs, your goals, your salaries and what actions have to be taken if either person wants to sell the company.

Working together after divorce has its own challenges, but it's not impossible. Be sure you consider all of your options and legal rights when ending your marriage.

Source: Fast Company, "Is It Possible To Get Divorced And Remain Business Partners?," Gwen Moran, accessed Oct. 04, 2017

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