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Resolving Intra-Family Business Disputes

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While resolving any dispute between business partners can be challenging, there is no doubt that  intra-family business disputes are among the toughest. Any experienced business litigation attorney will tell you that intra-family business disputes can quickly become nasty, protracted and all around destructive. Not only can a drawn out family business dispute damage the value of the company, it can also cause incredible damage to personal relationships. To protect your family business, it is imperative that disputes are resolved in an efficient, effective and collaborative manner. Here, our West Palm Beach business law attorneys share three of our best tips for resolving intra-family business disputes.

Always Keep Perspective

First and foremost, it is critically important that family members involved in a business dispute keep a proper perspective on the issue. Above all else, this means trying to remove emotion from the business conflict. Certainly, this is not an easy thing to do. Indeed, non-familial business partners often have trouble taking their emotions out of the case. That being said, family members involved in a business dispute need to get their personal emotions away from the business. No one wants to destroy an important personal bond over a business disagreement. Keeping a broader perspective regarding your overall relationship with your family is a must. 

You Must Clarify Goals and Interests

Similar to general disputes between business partners, one of the keys to reaching a successful resolution is maintaining clarity. Far too often, business partners get caught up on small points of dispute and miss the bigger picture. From the beginning, every party to an intra-family business dispute needs to be able to take a step back and focus on their ultimate goals and interests. In many cases, this leads family business partners to see that they actually have many overlapping interests. Finding these commonalities is the fundamental key to making progress.

Consider Mediation

Mediation is a commonly used type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that focuses on finding collaborative solutions. Mediation is used in many different circumstances, including both in general business disputes and in general family law disputes. Perhaps then, it is of no surprise that mediation is particularly effective when it comes to intra-family business cases. Mediation offers many different benefits for families in a business disagreement, including:

  • Cost savings;
  • Efficiency:
  • Privacy:
  • Relationship preservation;
  • A collaborative atmosphere;
  • Total control; and
  • Flexibility.

Additionally, mediation is a fully voluntary process. In other words, parties can always enter a mediation and then walk away from the table at any time. Entering into mediation gives you and your family an opportunity to look for solutions, without taking any of your other legal tools off of the table.

Contact Our Team Today

If you need assistance dealing with a complex intra-family business dispute, our attorneys can help. We have extensive experience handling business mediation in Florida. To set up a free review of your case, please call our West Palm Beach office at (561) 291-8298 or our recently opened Miami office at (305) 697-9799. At Pike & Lustig, LLP we proudly represent businesses throughout South Florida.

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