Basic Training: You Only Get Hurt By The Ones You Love

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq., owner of Ask The Business Lawyer, is an award-winning business attorney, speaker, and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. She saves consulting and professional services companies time, money, and aggravation by serving as their outsourced legal counsel.

Posted on December 16, 2016 in Business Partners

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Today’s basic training involves a sad story. A woman gave her heart to another . . . and to his business. What thanks does she get? She gets jilted, in more ways than one. Yet another reason to have a business prenup if your personal relationship sours.  Read on . . .

Q.:  I was working with my fiancé on a business idea we both developed. We are co-founders of this business. However, while I was working around the clock on this business, he went behind my back and put it in his name. He did this because, he says, he had the intentions of marrying me and thought it would be “cleaner” to just get married and split half (I have e-mail records of all of this). I also have e-mail records of our correspondence of our business, as well as my booking of a social conference for us to attend, plane tickets, etc. I created this entire website with him, and have even been a ghost writer on his account as well.

Sadly, a month before we got married, he decided to leave me. Is there some legal way to keep some of the business, or at least get a stake in it? 

A.:  Unfortunately, in these kinds of situations, your only recourse is to sue him and hope that the e-mail trail that you have — and the intellectual property you have created — is sufficient to support your claims. This can be an expensive prospect, so I’d recommend that you speak to an attorney in your area who focuses on business litigation to evaluate the strength of your position and the evidence you have, and to estimate the fees and costs. You may find from that consultation that you would be better off putting your time, money and energy into developing a competing business that outdoes your ex-fiance’s. As they say, “Living well is the best revenge.”

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