Helping Family Businesses
Prosper Across Generations®


In-Law Loses Marriage, Keeps Job

Dear Advisor:

After a recent divorce, I expected my father to fire my ex-husband from his job at our family business. To my surprise, he did not. Now I face a choice - interact with my ex everyday in the family business, quit my job, or demand that Daddy get rid of him. What should I do?

Some family businesses have policies that permit only one spouse of a pair to work in the business. A purpose behind such policies is to avoid this sort of situation. For the sake of peace, in-laws are simply kept from the business.

Other families do what you would seemingly prefer. As a matter of policy, in case of divorce, it is considered to be in all parties' best interest that the in-law not continue to work in the family firm.

However, we recently met a family business whose attitude was quite different. Insisting that family matters be kept separate from business issues, this family business's leader insisted that no one got jobs because of family status. Since the young man wasn't hired because he was a son-in-law, he shouldn't be fired because he's no longer a son-in-law.

Different family businesses take different approaches to this issue. We hope your family has family meetings because we'd urge you to raise the matter there, engage your family in a discussion, articulate a policy and a rationale, and then make your own decision about your own response.

The Advisor




Articles purchased or downloaded from Family Business Consulting Group® are designed to provide general information and are not intended to provide specific legal, accounting, tax or other professional advice. Since your individual situation may present special circumstances or complexities not addressed in this article and laws and regulations may change, you should consult your professional advisors for assistance with respect to any matter discussed in this article. Family Business Consulting Group®, its editors and contributors shall have no responsibility for any actions or inactions made in reliance upon information contained in this article. Articles are based on experience on real family businesses. However, names and other identifying characteristics may be changed to protect privacy.

The copyright on this article is held by Family Business Consulting Group®. All rights reserved.
Articles may be available for reprint with permission. To learn more about using articles for your publication, contact © The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

close (X)