It seems to make sense that when parties who are business together get divorced, one party has to go. The theory of "this town isn’t big enough for the both of us" comes to mind. In fact, as far back as 1978, the courts of New Jersey recognized this seemingly common sense fact in a case called Borodinsky. In that case, the Court held:
It seems almost doctrinal that the elimination of the source of strife and friction is to be sought by the judge in devising the scheme of distribution, and the financial affairs of the parties should be separated as far as possible. If the parties cannot get along as husband and wife, it is not likely they will get along as business partners …
There is no restriction on the court with regard to ordering distribution in kind of the eligible assets or awarding a monetary equivalent thereof. But, nonetheless, the judge should consider the former relationship of the parties and the fact that post-divorce peace is more conducive to the welfare of the parties.
But what if you agree to stay in business with your former spouse after the divorce? What happens when things go bad? Can you simply force a dissolution or buy out?
This was the issue in the case of Moriello v. Moriello, an unreported (non-precedential) case decided by the Appellate Division on July 17, 2012.