The end of a marriage changes both the family and the family business. While your immediate goal may be surviving divorce without losing what you’ve spent years building, it’s equally important to consider how what seems like a private, personal event causes shifts and tremors in so many other key relationships. Many people besides you and your soon-to-be-ex have a stake in the business – not just other family members but also managers, employees, clients, customers, vendors, suppliers, investors – even, if the company is a major presence in the community, other local businesses. Managing their concerns must be as much a part of your pre-divorce planning as consulting a lawyer, tax planner or value analyst. Separating reason from emotion when deciding how the business will continue after the divorce is key to making a positive transition. By creating and managing new psychological boundaries, not just with your ex-spouse but also with other former relatives, it’s possible to survive divorce without adversely affecting the bottom line. Here’s how a coaching professional can help guide you through the minefield of changing personal, familial and business relationships in the wake of divorce:
. Clarify whether you can or should continue as business partners after the divorce.
. Devise an exit strategy if you can’t.
. Continue to participate actively in the business but in different spheres, divisions or territories.
. Keep professional relationships intact when your personal life’s falling apart. .
. Split up clients, accounts, patients or key people when you both go it alone.
. Live with pre-nups, non-competes, and other agreements you made when you never thought this would happen. Or living without them.
. Get over having to share the wealth you created yourself.
. Deal with grown kids and their present or future role in the business.
. Transform conflict into cooperation so the lawyers aren’t the only ones who win.
. Know when your personal life is the public’s business and when it’s not.
. Understand why even the best-run business gets the Divorce Dwindles and what you can do about it. For a personal assessment, contact Jane Adams Ph.D