Forbes Magazine recently published an article about a couple who went through a bitter divorce 25 years ago that split the family and split the family business. The wife got the company trade name and two stores. Husband got two stores and became his former wife’s fiercest competitor. They didn’t speak to each other. The couple’s two children joined their mom’s company and wouldn’t speak to their dad.

It took 20 years for the two sides of the family to start talking again. When they did, it was obvious that they could be more profitable together by combining their manufacturing facilities. The two sides of the family are now comfortable being together, and they have combined and co-branded their franchise company which the children will run in the future.

This couple and their children had a happy ending, but it doesn’t need to take 20 years to get there. In 1991, the same year that this couple was divorcing, Stu Webb and other family law attorneys in Minneapolis, Minnesota began helping couples divorce in the very first cases using collaborative law. We’ve been helping couples divorce using collaborative law for over 15 years here in Raleigh and the Triangle. To see how couples who own a business together can divorce without become enemies, and without splitting the family and the family business, read theses case studies about couples in business together that we’ve helped during their crisis of divorce.