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Divorce Issues for CEOs and Other Executives

CEOs are in powerful positions. These executives run businesses and make them profitable. The position offers a lot of pay, power, and perks. It also comes with a lot of drama when the CEO is married.

Marriage is much more difficult when a spouse works as a CEO. CEOs work a lot, and when they’re not at work, they’re thinking about work. And if they’re dealing with a work issue like a bad quarter, this can also consume their time for weeks. 

This leaves very little time for family, which is the top reason why CEO marriages fail. Patience, time, and energy are all limited, often leading to an executive divorce. Spouses end up living separate lives as the CEO spends their time working, while the other spouse spends their time working and doing everything else on top of that, such as chores, cooking, cleaning, and childcare. As a result, CEOs are often seen as not committed to family, although CEOs do all this hard work for the benefit of their families. So it becomes a Catch-22. Both parties feel underappreciated. 

Indeed, CEOs bring home the bacon. CEOs may earn more than $1 million a year. Besides base pay and salary, a CEO may also receive the following:

  • Bonuses
  • Stocks and stock options
  • Health and life insurance
  • Deferred compensation
  • Retirement package
  • Pensions

How an Executive Divorce Can Affect a Business

Executives are well-compensated for their roles in helping businesses succeed. Anything negative that happens to the executive in their personal lives can translate into negative results for the business. Therefore, when executives divorce, there are several main concerns for businesses. They include:

  • Material change in business ownership. If the bulk of a couples’ wealth is tied up in the stock of the company, a divorce may force the CEO to sell or transfer ownership of the stock to the non-executive spouse as part of property division in a divorce. This can alter control of the business by decreasing the CEO’s decision-making authority.
  • Impacts to business judgment. If a CEO’s personal wealth is significantly reduced by a divorce, the executive might become more or less risk-averse when evaluating business opportunities.
  • Distractions caused by the divorce. Divorce is an emotional affair. It is very time-consuming and involves many elements. As such, dealing with a divorce can be distracting for a CEO. An executive who is too focused on their divorce might not be giving the business the attention it needs.

How to Make an Executive Marriage Work

Executive marriages can be complicated, but they can work. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep the marriage equal. A CEO should not be the boss of everyone. There should be no hierarchy in marriage. Both partners should be considered equal, which can be hard for CEOs. Your spouse can say no to you.
  • Know how to talk to your spouse. In a marriage, emotions matter. This is different for the business world when problems need to be tackled right away. When it comes to your spouse, take things slow and allow time to process emotions. You don’t need to be in a hurry. 
  • Know your best customer. Whether you are at work or home, you need to focus on your best customer. At work, this may be the company that spends the most money. At home, the best customer should be your spouse. You have to cater to your best customers. At home, remember to do the things your spouse loves about you. This will keep your marriage alive. 
  • Make a choice. CEOs are often expected to be available 24/7, so it’s natural for them to feel as though they are married to their jobs. However, if you want your marriage to survive, you need to remember that you have a choice to prioritize your marriage. Never try to put your marriage on the back burner. Couples need to discuss what elements are important in their marriage and what needs to be addressed right away so that both parties can feel appreciated. 

Contact Us Today

Business executives face unique challenges when getting divorced. Being an executive is a stressful job, but dissolving a marriage also brings about unique stresses. 
The Ohio executive divorce attorneys at Lawrence Law Office can help you understand strategies for protecting your assets. We’ll help your financial future remain bright as you navigate divorce. Schedule a consultation today by calling (614) 228-3664 or filling out the online form.

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