Usually, three key issues surface when a spouse owns a business. Number one is the business itself. Large or small, a business can be rewarding but also demanding and time-consuming. It is almost always the most complex asset to value accurately and usually the source of a substantial part of the family income. So, distributing the value of the business between spouses can be difficult. And, the capital needs of the business itself often compete with the needs of the family.
The second issue is the interdependence of the spouses. Business enterprises are particularly labor intensive. So are families. When the trust goes out of a relationship, benefits that flow from the business, and from the family, are often disrupted, forcing spouses to take on radically different roles than before.
Which leads to issue number three: the perspective of each spouse in relation to the family and the business. Business owners usually possess certain attributes that help their businesses succeed. Sometimes, these very attributes can make it difficult to see issues from the other spouse's perspective. Likewise, it can also be difficult for the non-business spouse to fully appreciate the issues from the perspective of the owner and operator of the business. There is nothing inherently evil, malicious or naïve about the perspective of either spouse, although it can certainly seem that way to the other.