Divorce and the family business

Julia Smart

If you are part of a family business, you know how important it is to stop personal emotions affecting the business, and the way that the operation is run on a day to day basis.

Divorce/separation are top stressors, and if you or any of the other members of your team are going through this, it is very hard to keep personal emotions from spilling over and harming the business interests.

There is a different way of divorcing which can help. It is called Collaborative Family Practice. It means you both work together with your lawyers to find the most satisfactory way of sorting out the financial consequences of a relationship breakdown.

In a traditional divorce, the Judge and the lawyers have to work within the narrow Court regime on issues that the Courts have deemed important. In Collaborative Practice you are free to sort out the problems which are the most important to you and to try to find creative solutions which may be outside those that can be imposed by the Court.

Having four of you working together on a problem, with additional professional advisors as necessary, gets those creative juices flowing. You can come up with tailor made solutions to your specific problems.

Given the complex interrelationships in family businesses, Collaborative Family Practice is an ideal way to move forward without the hostility and bitterness often found in a traditional divorce. Other family members can contribute to the problem solving, rather than taking sides. You can preserve people’s dignity with the control they have over their own divorce and in turn, the reduction in animosity and bitterness means that the valued contributions of family members that otherwise might be lost, can continue to add value to the business.

You may also be able to preserve the family business as a going concern, rather than having to sell it as a consequence of the divorce/separation, which might otherwise happen in a case disputed in Court.

For more information, or to discuss the above in more detail, please contact;

Julia Smart

Tel: 0117 929 0451

jsmart@metcalfes.co.uk

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