New statistics show approximately 3.7 million businesses in this country are owned by married couples. What happens when those couples divorce? Many times, one of the parties will leave the business, but sometimes couples decide to continue working together. Texas couples in the middle of a divorce may need to take a few steps during the process if they decide they are going to try to keep their company together and continue working as a team.

One couple found themselves in this situation after they married and the wife took a busier role in her husband’s company. As their business continued to grow, their home life suffered. Eventually the couple divorced, but they were forced to make a decision about their company. While their lawyers advised against it, the couple decided to go ahead and give it a try. They had no prenuptial agreement which could have helped them in this situation, but they did take other steps to help them with their problem.

One thing recommended in a situation like this is to attempt mediation. When couples divorce, it can cause anger serious enough to jeopardize family businesses. A mediator can act as an unbiased party in a situation like this to help them work through their issues and can help couples learn to successfully communicate. Also, prenuptial agreements are a viable option, especially if only one party owns the business. Either of the methods can be effective, but a prenuptial agreement could actually have prevented the issues in the first place.

However, some couples choose to marry without those documents and, when going through a divorce, must make a hard decision about their businesses. In those cases, mediation can often help couples determine if they will actually be able to continue to work as a team. Texas couples in the midst of a divorce may need to seek out knowledgeable assistance with their cases, especially when there is a business involved.

Source: The New York Times, “When Couples Divorce but Still Run the Business Together,” Bryan Borzykowski, Dec. 5, 2012