Ryan Kalamaya discusses the do's and don'ts when divorcing the co-owner of your business.
Step by Step Colorado Divorce Guide
The initial thought of trying to file for divorce can be overwhelming and emotionally exhausting.
Ryan Kalamaya, one of the founding partners of innovative law firm Kalamaya | Goscha, has created a simple, step by step guide to the Colorado divorce process, so you know what to expect and how to best protect yourself and your assets.
Each 5-minute episode will cover the process for divorce, parenting in a divorce, property division, and more. To watch the videos of each episode, click here.
About Kalamaya | Goscha
Kalamaya | Goscha is an innovative law firm with an award-winning team of trial lawyers specializing in highly personal disputes — divorce, child custody, property division, maintenance/alimony, pre-marital and marital agreements, and collaborative divorce — in Colorado. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISCLAIMER: THE COMMENTARY AND OPINIONS ON THIS PODCAST IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE OR AREA TO OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES.
Ryan Kalamaya (1s):
Welcome to Divorce at Altitude, a podcast on Colorado family law. I'm Ryan Kalamaya each week, along with my business partner and cohost Amy Goscha or an expert, we discuss a particular topic related divorce, or co-parenting in Colorado. In addition, we have created a short series of lessons. It will take you through the legal process of divorce and answer your questions from simple to complex divorce. Isn't easy. The end of a marriage, especially when children are involved, brings a great deal of loss and change. We hope these practical tips and insights will help you on your journey to a new and better life.
Ryan Kalamaya (42s):
This is a how to episode on what happens when Business Partners go through a divorce in Colorado. As many listeners know we have a divorce story involving Eric and Melanie Wolfe. Now let's say that Eric and Melanie are not only just co-parents, but they are also business partners and that they grew a software company during their marriage with Eric as CEO and Melanie as CFO. What happens to that business in a Colorado divorce? Well, there's a couple of different options and this episode is in particular with some just things to consider and some do's and don'ts for Eric and Melanie, or you, if you find yourself in a situation in which you're divorcing your business partner, the first thing you should know is that under Colorado law specifically in re marriage of Paul is a case that stands for the proposition it's against Colorado public policy in order for people to co-own a business or continue to co-own anything after a divorce.
Ryan Kalamaya (1m 41s):
Now that doesn't mean that they can't agree to. It's just that if they get sideways and they go forward with a trial of some sort, then there is going to be an argument as between Eric and Melanie as to who should get the business. So, one thing I caution clients on is don't decide immediately what will happen to the business. Eric and Melanie need to take some time to think about what is going to work for them. They might not agree on the color of the sky or what is best for their children, but they make a great partners in a business, but they shouldn't immediately have a knee jerk reaction as to who should get the business.
Ryan Kalamaya (2m 21s):
What other tips are Eric and Melanie going to consider or should take into consideration when going through a divorce first, they shouldn't drag their employees or suppliers or customers through the divorce. And that is common sense, but emotions generally will come into play. And, but Eric and Melanie should be very cautious on engaging in any sort of arguments in front of employees or letting others know about the divorce that said they might have an obligation to disclose the divorce to lenders or key suppliers and other people, but they should be on the same page. And they might want to engage a business coach or some sort of arbitrator to decide how and when is best to let employees know.
Ryan Kalamaya (3m 9s):
Another thing that Eric and Melanie need to be cautious of is if there is some sort of affair, it is not uncommon for there to be an affair, especially with some sort of employee. And if Eric is having an affair with his personal assistant, Melanie's going to be tempted to bring that to the attention of everyone in the business. And as much as one would understand why she would want to, and emotionally she might want revenge is just not good practice. And it's going to be a distraction for everyone involved, but they shouldn't be involving employees to deliver messages. And no matter how mad they might feel, they need to take into consideration that the value of the business is a marital asset.
Ryan Kalamaya (3m 50s):
That benefits both of them. Another thing to keep in mind is that even if the operation agreement or bylaws say that Eric can make unilateral decisions, or even if he's made unilateral decisions in the past, once you get into the divorce context, Eric should loop in Melanie on key business decisions when he otherwise may not have. And that's just to make sure that we keep transparency and it's going to make things a lot easier for everyone, both Eric and Melanie really need to focus on the business. They need to set aside the divorce discussions and other things, especially with children for some other time and place, but they really need to focus on their business distraction and they need to double down and make sure that they're doing everything possible to maximize the business.
Ryan Kalamaya (4m 42s):
Another word of caution is that Eric and Melanie, or one of them might be tempted to run down the business because they think that there is somehow going to be an advantage, but they need to keep in mind that it is not in their interest. And it could come back to, you know, seriously haunt them in the event that there is a claim of dissipation and that if you had divorced flu, then it could really work against you in the divorce. But Eric and Melanie really do need to keep careful business records. They need to understand what is going on in the business and work together. And, you know, they need to, as I said before, loop in and accountant, they probably need to let their bookkeeper know that there is a divorce, but they need to get on the same page as to who.
Ryan Kalamaya (5m 27s):
And when they tell about what all is going on, final couple points for business owners to consider is that they really are incentivized in a circumstance in which a business is involved to a point a private judge or an arbitrator. Someone that's going to have a little bit more background and time for such a critical issue. And they want to make sure that there's confidentiality. So they likely will want to ask the court to limit access to the court file. So all of various things need to be taken into consideration when business partners go through a divorce, thanks for listening or watching this short lesson on the divorce outs to podcast.
Ryan Kalamaya (6m 9s):
If you found this helpful, please leave a review or share with a friend. It does help for others that are going through or thinking about a divorce in Colorado. If you want to find out more information, please visit Kalamaya law or Divorce at Altitude dot com. That's K a L a M a Y a.law. Remember, this is educational information. It's not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an attorney about the particulars of your case. We're happy to answer questions. Feel free to give us a call at (970) 315-2365.