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Some tips for working with your ex-spouse

The end of a marriage doesn't have to mean the end of a business partnership. Some divorced spouses who can still get along have continued to have thriving business relationships after they've decided to go their separate ways personally. However, if one of you still has feelings for the other, or if your feelings toward each other are still complicated, a working relationship may not be possible.

One relationship expert, who sometimes works with her ex-husband on her radio show, says that it's crucial to establish clear boundaries and job responsibilities. She says, "When somebody is your ex, you feel like they should know what you want or how you like something done, but that's not always the case….You need to treat your ex like somebody you just hired, and be very clear and upfront."

Besides having clear job responsibilities so that the two of you aren't infringing on each other's territory, relationship and career advisors say that it's also wise to have some physical space between you in the office. It's even better if you can work in different areas of the company. However, having shared goals can help exes work together successfully. This can include things like sales quotas and new product launches.

Having a mediator inside the company whom you've both agreed on to be a "tiebraker" if you disagree on something can help. You may also choose someone outside the business like a therapist.

Keeping your personal lives separate is key. Even entertaining clients together or participating in company social events can be problematic -- particularly if alcohol is involved. Even the perception that an ex is flirting with someone can cause jealousy. One way to avoid that is to take turns hosting or attending these events.

Leave your past relationship out of the workplace. It's probably best not to discuss any current relationships you're in, either. Keep your communications with each other and with colleagues purely professional.

If you and your spouse own a business together and both want to continue to be involved in that business following your divorce, you may need to make some changes to the way your business is legally set up. It's wise to seek the guidance of an attorney who can help you do that in addition to your family law attorney.

Source: Moneyish, "This is the best way to work with your ex," Nicole Lyn Pesce, accessed May 30, 2018

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