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Divorced, But Still CoworkersMost business owners and workers understand the need to separate your work from your personal life. Sometimes that can be hard, what affects you outside the office or workplace can ultimately stick with you throughout the day at your job. However, there is an increasing wrinkle in today’s workforce that can make the notion of compartmentalizing your life even harder. Many couples across the United States own their own business. What happens when their home life falls apart and both spouses are tied to the success of a mutual venture? Can divorced couples work together for mutual success? It is a more common scenario than one might think.

Working Together But Separated

A coupled-owned business can be a great venture… most times. But couples need to worry about their business  succeeding in this tough climate. But what if the relationship is what warrants the worry? And what happens to the couple-owned business when the marriage falls apart? A recent census bureau statistic estimated that there are around 3.7 million businesses in the United States owned and run by couples. Given the approximate 50% divorce rate in this country, chances are any of those couples are, or have already, divorced or will get divorced. Businesses owned by divorced couples are becoming more common. There are many examples of couples who keep working together successfully even after a divorce, so what does it take?

Mutual Respect

Respect must go into every relationship, that is a given. But for divorced couples to continue in the same business venture together, an outside mutual respect must develop. This can be very hard to maintain. Living and knowing someone intimately for several years, and working together as a married couple means you are literally sharing everything. Going from that to divorce and building a working relationship with someone you know so intimately can be an unusual challenge. Open communication, and mutual understanding is what matters now in order to separate work from personal relationships, and consistency can go a long way in being able to work together towards a common goal.

Talk to the Employees

Many couples own small businesses. For example, restaurants can commonly be owned or started by a couple. However, many other types of businesses form packaging plants to law firms can be examples of coupled ventures. Like many businesses, the workplace can become like a family; add in the element of married owners and this is even truer. Just like a family with kids during a divorce, employees may pick sides or feel awkward and insecure about their job. Sitting down with the employees and explaining the situation to alleviate their worries, concerns, and insecurity can go a long way to maintaining a professional environment and starting your post-divorce business on the right path. Leaving employees in the dark about a situation like this can create confusion and discord in a workplace environment.

Sometimes a divorce can be put off for practical reasons, not unlike owning a business together. Other times, there seems to be no other alternative. Whether you’re preparing for a long and tedious divorce process, or pursuing a do it yourself divorce, understanding the consequences of this process is necessary to help you move forward with your live.

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