I’ve been assaulted by my business partner. Help!

Hi Aunty B.
I’m writing because my wife is in a situation and it must end.  It is super complicated, but here we go with the details.
She is currently a 50% owner in a services business. It’s very successful – about $5 million a year in profit. She runs it with her ex-husband and they have been in talks for a buyout for the last year, which she is willing to do.

He has been emotionally abusive, screaming and yelling. Degrading her at work. About a week ago now, he started in yelling at her in her office. She then got up to leave and he not only blocked her path but pushed her backwards with his chest. When she tried to go around him he kneed her. 

Now she has lawyers, very expensive ones I might add, and they have basically taken the money and advised her to do nothing but wait. He has made her a dismal offer for the 11 years that she’s owned half the company. Because of the assault she can no longer go into the office. The ex is saying he is going to settle, but is using every stalling tactic in the book to prolong the conflict. He’s now trying to not pay her salary as well.
Basically we can’t head off to court, because the lawyers are saying it will be at least $10,000 per month to fight.  I feel like our hands are tied, and evil is being rewarded.  We can’t fight because of the money issue, and he is getting away with pushing her out.
What advice would you have?

Thanks so much.

Dear Bill,

It sounds like you are both going through a very difficult time and you feel out of control. What you need to do is take back control by fighting back hard.

You can do a lot of things. First, your wife and you need to decide what you want. If I was you I would decide on a settlement in your mind that is acceptable for all that hard work and face the fact that that chapter of life is over.

Second, find a cheaper, nasty lawyer who isn’t pushing you to the back of the queue because they know you don’t have much money. There are lots of those around. Get the lawyer to start sending very threatening letters about breach of directors’ duties and other company rules that he has broken.

Third, if your wife was assaulted why didn’t she go to the police and get a restraining order so he can’t come to the office.

Remember this bloke is a bluffing bully. You will know his financial situation and how much money he has to spend. He knows yours. You need to stare down bullies.

Lastly while you are fighting this, she needs to start her new life. She may need counselling to do this and a lot of emotional assistance. But she has to realise this is a new start for her. She will eventually find that customers and employees will follow her as no one wants to work for a bastard.

And your job is going to be to encourage her to move on. She will make that money back again and more.

Be smart,

Your Aunty b  





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