In our society, we frequently hear about financial problems leading to divorce. Often, extended periods of unemployment, or Chapters 7 or 13 bankruptcies are precursors to divorce. Clearly, financial struggles can strain a marriage, and ruin all hopes of marital bliss for reasons we can understand. But what about divorce statistics for successful entrepreneurs? We rarely see the stats and facts on how success or entrepreneurship affect marriage in the United States.
While arguably, the most intelligent single people tend to gravitate towards ambitious, successful individuals, they often fail to realize the loneliness that can be involved in a high-net-worth marriage. While not all high-net-worth marriages buckle under the pressure of success, many do. The demands of a successful business can put distance between spouses, leading to physical and emotional separation, and divorce.
Common Causes of Divorce
In the average marriage, common causes of divorce include infidelity, a lack of communication, and divergent goals – the most affluent married entrepreneurs can experience all three in abundance. Often, an entrepreneur’s business will occupy their thoughts and all of their time, producing a toxic cocktail that can put their marriage’s stability at risk. If the entrepreneur’s spouse does not work with them, it can be difficult to talk about their daily struggles and concerns in business.
Then there’s jealousy; many entrepreneurs talk about their business as their “passion,” but they do not feel the same way about their spouse or their children. If the entrepreneur started a business to do “their own thing,” and they already had a strained marriage, the business can turn cracks into canyons, creating an even greater distance between the struggling couple. Some people resent rather than celebrate their spouse’s success.
Divorce Can Destabilize a Business
Just as the building of a successful business can lead to divorce, entrepreneurs must be aware that divorce can also destabilize their businesses, particularly if the “brand” is focused on the couple or the family. It’s can also be an issue when the business itself is not shielded in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Lastly, divorcing spouses who partner face their own unique challenges; sometimes someone has to walk away from the business in order to end an unhappy marriage.
If you are an entrepreneur, it’s important to work with a divorce attorney who has experience representing business owners in their divorce – one who knows how to protect an entrepreneur’s interests throughout the divorce process.