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Managing the challenges of a divorce with a shared business

Couples often have to work out agreements regarding property or dependant children when they divorce, but what about those who share a business together? For farming couples in Ontario, valuable acreage, family legacies and an uncertain industry can make divorce an even more challenging affair for those involved. Understanding the financial situation and having independent legal, financial and emotional support are critical during such an undertaking.

There are many advisers who may be involved in a divorce, including an accountant, a financial planner, investment broker, a lawyer and perhaps even a divorce coach. All of these people should be carefully selected as their advice will determine many important issues. Additionally, ensuring advice is independent and not influenced by an ex is critical for those undergoing an Ontario divorce.

When a business is involved, matters can get more contentious. Some serious reflection may be needed to decide whether the former partners can continue to work together, or co-own a business. Healthy boundaries are important in any divorce, but when something like a business or children is involved, structuring the ongoing relationship effectively is very important and may require additional negotiations or court orders.

While self-respect and friendship can help with the difficult emotions involved in this process, the financial and legal matters may require more heavy lifting. Surrounding oneself with trustworthy people is a good idea for anyone navigating a divorce. Those getting divorced in Ontario should seek legal counsel from those familiar with provincial laws and standards to advise them.

Source:, "A dozen things about divorce", Elaine Froese, Feb. 27, 2018

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