You might be surprised to learn that Royal Ballet stars and former couple Thiago Soares and Marianela Nunez decided to continue dancing together even after their marriage broke down. In fact, they say that “if anything, we’re working together better than ever now”. The breakdown of a personal relationship doesn’t necessarily preclude a professional relationship for ex-couples who happen to be colleagues.
Naturally, it is only once the initial bump of the separation is successfully overcome that the dynamic can reconfigure itself from united under holy matrimony to united under company policy. Given the common history the former couple will share, there can be a sense of frankness and transparency when talking over sensitive topics which can be extremely conducive to an open and honest work environment if used correctly. Family businesses of various sizes are quite common – and if families can work together, why can’t former couples? Many family firms are owned by husband and wife – what if they divorce? It can be expensive and time-consuming to divide up a business, not to mention damaging to the business itself – to both profit and the goodwill that has been built up in the business.
Besides, just because a marriage does not survive shouldn’t mean everything else must fall down with it. It doesn’t mean that the children’s well-beings should be compromised. It should not mean that mutual friendships should be undermined. And, it surely need not mean a flourishing business should be jeopardised. Respect for a clear distinction of roles, and fairness in the allocation of decision-making powers are some of the skills needed to make things work. The effort is especially worth it for the more established firms: Stacy and Jan Roberts who founded their franchise of a freight-services firm in 1995 admit that the amount of work they have already both put into the venture was a key consideration – they had practically raised it as though it were their own child (In fact ex-spouses’ children would likely love that mum and dad opted to keep working together professionally and as separated parents.) But even for younger firms and businesses, there is a room for growth and creativity.
So, do not let divorce cause you further distress by negatively affecting your working life together.Take what appears to be a liability and convert it into an opportunity
Isabel is a guest blogger for Grayfords. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. She is currently pursuing the Graduate Diploma in Law at The University of Law in London.