Some 4 million businesses in the U.S. are run by husband-and-wife teams as of 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. What happens to these companies when their cofounders break up?
Earlier this year, Heather Armstrong, who ran the wildly popular mommy blog Dooce with her husband Jon, announced that they would be separating. And last week, Maxwell and Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan of Apartment Therapy divulged their separation after nearly 10 years of marriage. In the case of the Armstrongs, Jon left the business; the Gillingham-Ryans have not yet revealed any changes to Apartment Therapy.
How can husband-and-wife teams protect their business assets in the event of a divorce? "I don't care if you're married. I don't care if you're not. Every partnership needs something in writing," said Scott Gerber of the Young Entrepreneur Council, to ABC. "I've watched people lose multimillion-dollar businesses over this -- all because they don't have a contract. And then it just comes down to who's going to outspend the other in legal fees."
Have you ever worked with your significant other, or worked for a company run by a couple? If so, we'd love to hear about your experience in the comments section.
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(Photo credit: Ruby Washington/The New York Times)
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