Business divorce is just that — a parting of the ways, legally and financially, of partners who have until now shared authority in operation of a business. The need for a business divorce takes many people by surprise. A partnership of many years may dissolve as a result of disagreements such as the following:
- One partner alleges that the other has become greedy, taking most of the profits for himself or herself.
- The partners disagree on business decisions: for example, one wants to hire or fire workers while the other does not believe that to be the right approach.
- One partner or the other seeks to make important decisions without the other’s consent.
Confronting the Dark Side of a Partnership Dispute
And on occasion, there is a dark side. One partner seizes all of the money and changes the locks on the doors. One partner slanders the other, to all of the suppliers and customers of the business. Perhaps the partnership consisted of a money partner, an idea partner, and a service partner. When the idea partner’s concept is put into action, the other partners try to squeeze him out. Or, one partner files suit on the other, before any notice of a parting of the ways is given.
When there is a dark side, you almost always need immediate, very aggressive litigation. It is necessary to confront and beat the dark side.
John McDuff, Attorney at Law helps ensure that clients facing business dissolution emerge from the “divorce” with all available legal protections and the most favorable financial settlement that is available under the circumstances.
Whether the point of contention is settled through negotiations, through Mediation or in the courtroom, valuation of assets, including good will and trade secrets such as customer lists, will most likely figure into the equation.
To accomplish a business divorce that does not devastate one or both parties, you may need to restructure debts, deal with sales tax arrears and keep in mind tax consequences. Mr. McDuff is well experienced in all these and many other potential problems that may require resolution in preparation for your business divorce.
As in the case of a marriage, reconciliation and restructuring of the partnership may be an option that you wish to consider, though this type of resolution is infrequent. If reconciliation is impossible, as will almost always be the case, a negotiated or mediated settlement may bring about a much-needed solution such as one partner getting the business, and the other getting cash, a note, and a lien on the company’s assets. Of course, polite, or vigorous, litigation may be necessary. I can negotiate or litigate, as the situation may need.
Contact Business Lawyer, John McDuff
Whatever the reason or the source of a business partnership dispute, you need to consult with an experienced business litigation lawyer sooner rather than later. The quality of my work as a lawyer is well recognized by my clients & I have received the AV rating* under Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system. My clients are predominantly from Austin and Central Texas, and occasionally from other states. Contact John McDuff, Attorney at Law at 512-457.1177, or e-mail the law firm to schedule an appointment.
*AV, BV and CV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.
Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.