It is probably technically and legally possible to own and run a business in partnership with your ex-spouse. As long as he or she could legally sign a partnership contract or assume ownership of an LLC or corporation, then you could continue to be partners in business after the end of your marriage.
The question of whether you could do this efficiently is somewhat different. Some divorcing couples have some emotional conflict surrounding the split, and others may have some financial disagreements they might need to settle before focusing completely on making a business profitable together. However, if you believe that you can keep things professional, or if you are not ready to exit the business quite yet, then operating it together may be a viable option.
In fact, you could find that the transition to joint ownership as two single people may be smoother than you expect, at least from a financial standpoint. Many of the tax concerns could remain the same, for example. However, you may also want to consider that this change of marital status may represent an opportunity for you to take your operations to the next level.
For example, this could be an opportunity to create a limited liability company or limited partnership. While this may seem like extra work during an already complex divorce, it typically makes sense to think about these things at the same time. The discovery process may be just as effective as a full audit in some cases, so would probably have as much information as you need to make the best decision possible about the future of your business.
This may also be a good time to think about the internal structure of your business. As explained in Detroit News, there are several things that could help make a post-divorce business partnership more effective:
- Establishing work and personal boundaries
- Defining roles and assigning job titles
- Setting up conflict resolution or exit strategies
In short, you would probably want to reconsider the leadership of your business in full, from both a legal and operational perspective. The good news is that, by even considering this option, you are probably already set on the path to success. Please do not consider anything in this article as legal advice. It is only meant to be general information.