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Company concerns over an executive's divorce can affect business

When the owner, president, or chief executive officer (CEO) of a company goes through a divorce, it often seems like the whole company goes through the divorce at the same time.

If this is your situation, you may want to keep your divorce fairly private in order to minimize the impact it has on the company. There are some very good reasons to take this approach:

-- If your spouse is making some ugly accusations about your personal life, that could affect the way that you are regarded professionally.

-- Shareholders, other executives and employees may wonder if you are properly focused on the company while you are work.

-- Employees of a closely-held or family-owned business may worry that your divorce will end up dividing or damaging the business. Your better employees may decide to start examining their employment prospects elsewhere out of concern for their own financial security.

-- It's possible that your spouse has some intimate knowledge of the company's inner workings, simply because of his or her relationship with you. That information could end up becoming public knowledge if your spouse decides that letting some of it surface could serve his or her personal interests (if only out of revenge).

-- Your divorce could change the controlling structure of the company if your assets are tied up in the company. Your spouse may end up obtaining possession of a significant part of those holdings. The possibility alone could make investors and clients nervous and cause some to distance themselves early while they wait to see what kind of fallout happens.

The best thing that you can do if you're faced with a divorce that could affect your business (or the way that others perceive your business) is to find an attorney who can help you work with your spouse out of court as much as possible.

Any high-profile couple that wants to keep their private information private should consider mediation over the more difficult issues, like custody and support. Ultimately, presenting a "unified front" through your divorce can help both you and your spouse move on more easily.

For more information on how our firm can help you get through issues related to property settlements when a business is involved, please visit our page.

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