Some married couples may own and run a business together. But when a couple in New York decides to split, the business they own could end up being sold with its proceeds split between the spouses. If you are facing divorce and want to save your business, you may consider asking your spouse to sell his or her interest in the company. However, such a request might not be easy and may involve some negotiating to make it happen.
Ideally, a couple that owns a business has drawn up an agreement that provides for a way to dissolve the partnership efficiently, such as offering a buyout agreement that a spouse can use to buy out the ownership interest of the other spouse. However, this may not always be the case. If it is not, you might still want to buy out your spouse but are not sure how to go about it.
Forbes explains that a business partner that seeks to buy out the other partner has a number of ways to accomplish the sale. You could pay your spouse a lump-sum amount that takes care of the payment all at once, but you might have a hefty price tag on your hands if the business is highly valuated. Some people stagger their payments over time instead. If your spouse wants to stay on for a period of time or you need your spouse to stay during a transition, you could utilize an earn-out payment.
Perhaps your partner does not want to sell his or her ownership share but at the same time does not look upon your continued involvement with the company favorably. If you still insist on maintaining a presence in the business, you might negotiate for a different position in the company. Chron.com explains that disagreeing business partners can set up a different management structure. You could ask to assume a position that does not require you to be at the company every work day and minimizes your interaction with your spouse.
Sometimes it takes another party to look at your situation and come up with an acceptable solution. If you and your spouse are stuck, consider bringing in a negotiator or a mediator to facilitate discussions with the aim of reaching an eventual agreement. Having an impartial outsider work on your issues can offer different perspectives that you and your spouse have not considered.
Hopefully, you can reach an amicable agreement with your spouse that keeps your company intact. Keep in mind that your divorce proceedings may also affect how you split your business partnership with your spouse, so consider consulting with a professional divorce attorney on your matter.