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Running a business together after a divorce

Texas couples who are getting a divorce may have an additional complication to deal with if they own a business together. While they have the option of selling the business or having one person buy out the other, another possibility is for the two to continue running it together. There are a few guidelines couples should keep in mind if they decide on this route.

It is important to separate emotional issues from other aspects of the business, including the financial and legal elements. People should think about their priorities and goals in each of these areas. They may find it helpful to work with a mediator on some of the practical aspects. Individually, people might also want to look into counseling for support.

Even an amicable split will require an adjustment period, and it might be necessary for both people to take some time off. This may also help them make a better decision about what to do with the business. A couple who has decided to work together should make clear agreements about what their roles will be. There should be an agreement that allows one person to leave or buy out the other. No decision is permanent, and people's relationships to one another and to the business may change over time.

In a high-asset divorce in Texas, the process of property division may become complex because Texas is a community property state. This means that shared assets, defined as property acquired during the marriage, is supposed to be divided equally. This may not apply to the property a person brings into the marriage, but if the property appreciates in value, the other spouse may be entitled to a portion of that. Therefore, even if only one spouse owns and runs a business, the other might be able to claim a part of it.

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