Husband Has Removed Me From Our Business

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about family business dispute:

My husband and I have had a home-based business for 12 1/2 years. I started it myself, and he has totally taken it over. Now, something is wrong. I had to have surgery a year ago and while I was in the hospital he hired another secretary behind my back. I had no knowledge of her until I came home.

She had already taken over everything, even going into my office and helping herself, as well as going into my home. I told my husband but he didn’t do anything. I told her to stay in her office and do her job, and that my home was off limits.

My husband made me apologize to her. She does anything she wants. Her family comes and goes. She’s late for work. And now my husband is building a three-office complex: One for him, one for her and one for I don’t know who else. He has let her pick out the tile for the floor and paneling for the walls. When I ask him a question he tells me it is none of my business. He is taking our business out of the home and totally putting me out. I will not even be allowed a key. And, he is taking his secretary with him, not me. When I try to talk to his secretary she tells me she doesn’t have to listen to me because I didn’t hire her. He has even opened up three more bank accounts solely in his name. But this is a business that I started and am part owner of. Can he do this?I don’t know what to do! Please help me!

Signed, Pushed Out

Dear Pushed Out:

We don’t provide legal advice, and you definitely need that! There is no way for us to know what your husband has the right to do, because apparently he has made a number of changes that might affect your standing in the business. An attorney could tell you where you stand and advise you about what to do next. If you re-read your message, you will see that you have both marriage and business problems that require lawyers right away. See an attorney before you do anything else.

Find every bit of paperwork related to your business and finances, as well as tax returns and similar material, and let an attorney who specializes in business matters help you.At the same time you should be talking to a marriage counselor, if you decide not to talk to a divorce attorney instead!Best wishes!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.