It is said that entrepreneurs have a high divorce rate. If this is true, it is because building a business can require years of dedication, effort and singular focus.
And this is one reason that anyone who owns a business should consider divorce mediation before litigated divorce.
As Crain’s Chicago Business noted in a recent article, divorce has taken down many businesses, and it is often because lawyers have more financial incentive to draw the process out and create more conflict than to swiftly and levelheadedly resolve all of the issues.
In the article, Steve Thorne, an accountant with Deloitte Tax, exhorts divorcing couples to work together on the financial and practical issues. For example, business valuations can be expensive, so Thorne advises that couples agree on a single valuation company and divide the cost rather than paying for separate valuations (which can cost tens of thousands of dollars).
Many business owners think that mediation simply isn’t an option, because of the complexity of the financial and legal issues at hand. And it is true that for some issues, a lawyer will be necessary to draw up a particular legal agreement as it relates to the business.
But a trained divorce mediator, working in conjunction with accountants and other professionals, can create agreements between the divorcing spouses on all of the issues, so that the use of a lawyer can be targeted, limited, and cost effective.
Divorcing spouses who intend to continue running the business together can benefit greatly from mediation. A successful, low-drama mediation can be a cornerstone for the kind of collaboration that will be needed to work together on the business.
But perhaps the most important benefit of divorce mediation, when it comes to the health of the business itself, is that it resolves the divorce with less money and time spent. As Thorne indicates, litigated divorces can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take years to complete. That is a lot of time and money to take away from a business intended to support you and your loved ones for years to come.
Gerald A. Maggio is a trained Orange County divorce mediator who has amicably resolved cases many cases out of court, as well as an experienced divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Maggio founded California Divorce Mediators in 2012 with the belief that although “not every marriage can be saved, every family can” and a mission to save families from the financial and emotional distress associated with traditional divorce litigation. California Divorce Mediators is located in Irvine, California, and serves the Orange County area and other counties in California offering divorce mediation, child custody mediation and mediation of other family law matters.