In business with your ex-spouse? We have tips to make it work.

It’s becoming more and more common to go into business with a spouse. However, if your romantic relationship fails, things will inevitably change. Still, you may not want to bail on business ventures you have created together.

Though it may not be common, if you and your ex-spouse decide to try and continue working together in a professional setting, you need a game plan. Here are some tips for making a business relationship successful:

Keep communication open

This rule applies to almost any situation: communicate. With a complicated personal, business and legal relationship, you and your ex must be able to talk openly with one another.

Give yourself space

There is no shame in recognizing that you need space from an ex. Jumping back into a professional relationship before you have taken time to heal may not be the best move. Give yourself space from your ex to heal before you try working with them.

Keep things separate

Don’t bring family or relationship discussions to work. Choosing a separate time and space to talk about your relationship, children or legal matters can help you keep work separate from other issues.

Put everything in writing

As you figure out the terms of your business relationship, writing everything down in a legally binding document can help keep everything clear. That way, you and your ex will have a chance to understand expectations and how you can cooperate to make business work.

Remember to respect one another

It can be hard to keep personal feelings away from work, especially when you’re in business with an ex. No matter your romantic relationship, if you’ve decided to try and make a professional relationship work, you must learn to respect one another. Understand the value of your business partner and trust that they will continue to be a good partner.

Recognize when it’s not working

Being in business with an ex is hard. If you realize that it’s not healthy for you to work together anymore, respect your own boundaries. If you need to step away, do it.

Even if your romantic relationship doesn’t work, you may not have to sacrifice your business. Working with a spouse is difficult, and working with an ex-spouse can be even more so. Starting by laying out a game plan together can help you succeed.

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