Getting divorced is tough enough, but sitting 100 feet from your ex at work every day? That's the new normal for Lacy Starling and Tony Coutsoftides, co-founders of Florence, Kentucky-based Legion Logistics. As their business took off in 2012, their marriage crumbled, but the two found a way to keep the company together.
Lacy: We went into the divorce knowing that if we weren't mature about things, both our lives would fall apart. One thing we did was to wait until we were ready to file the divorce paperwork before we told our employees about it. That meant a lot of play-acting for a while, but we didn't want them to get worried and start circulating their résumés.
Tony: The divorce proceedings were the easy part; the hard part was rebuilding trust with each other. We created a "must-talk" list of things we have to consult each other on before making a decision. That includes any expenditure over a certain amount, hiring or firing, big customer-facing decisions, and any new contracts.
Lacy: We try really hard to respect each other's decisions in our respective areas, but we still tell each other before making them.
Tony: On the plus side, it's almost like Legion became an official company once it wasn't family owned anymore.
Lacy: Right. When you own a company with someone you're not married to, you have to work through all sorts of scenarios, like what happens if someone dies or wants to leave. Married co-owners might not do that. For us, it would be irresponsible not to.
As told to Inc. contributing writer, Alix Stuart.