California couples who own and run a business together may do everything possible to avoid a divorce. Even though the marriage is over on a personal level, the fear of losing the business can keep many couples in bad marriages.
If this sounds like you, you have options when it comes to what happens to your business if you divorce. California is a community property law state, and a business co-owned by both spouses is likely considered a marital asset that must be divided.
You and your spouse can choose to sell the business or have one of you buy out the other, but what if both of you want to continue in the business?
Just because you can does not mean you should
There is no law saying that you cannot continue running the business together once you are divorced. However, you should think long and hard about whether this is a good idea.
Some couples find they are able to continue successfully running their business after divorcing, and some even find they work better together now that they are no longer married.
Only you know the answer to the question of whether continuing to work with your former spouse is a good choice. The answer depends on factors including your personal relationship with your spouse and your business.
Your relationship with your spouse
You and your spouse need to have an honest conversation about how it will be to continue to operate your business together. Both of you will need to be professional and mature, since personal conflict can cause your business to fail.
Examine your own feelings carefully. Even if you are not angry about the divorce, lingering feelings of sadness and hurt are common and can impact your ability to remain professional.
Your business involvement
As to the business itself, think about if running it requires constant interaction with your spouse or if both of you put in the same amount of effort.