Bliss Requires Careful Planning

Richard Streitfeld – Buddhist Mensch

Catering Gone Sour

Jerry and Joan were college buddies and started a catering business together, Taste Buddies. Three years in, Jerry decided to take a part- time teaching position and a leave of absence from the catering enterprise.  He later wanted to negotiate a return to the company, but Joan would have none of it.

Separation was inevitable.  Jerry wants his 50% share or the equipment he gave the business —  and out.  Joan feels ripped off and is struggling to stay afloat, working like mad.  What does the partnership agreement say about what happens in such a circumstance?  How does it account for the equipment — was it a loan or a gift? There was no partnership agreement. So now she won’t even discuss it and he needs at least his initial investment of $45,000 back to move on with his life. They’re both unhappy.

Separation Anxiety

Mo and Molly seemed like the ideal couple, then things fell apart.  They divorced quickly, with no agreement as  to who will claim their toddlers, Will and Wanda, as dependents.  Molly is the high wage earner and could benefit from the exemptions.  Mo is currently unemployed and the benefits to him are minimal.  But he’s angry and filed his tax return first, claiming the kids.  The IRS is not a divorce court.  They’re both unhappy.


As (one of) my promotional business magnets says “bliss requires careful planning.” Yes, be passionate about business and relationships, and be willing to take risks as befit your nature. But don’t be dumb — or so cheap as to avoid basic “insurance”.  You wouldn’t forego homeowner’s insurance would you?  Yeah, a good lawyer will require $, but the cost to you — and not just financial — can far exceed that initial outlay if things go sour, which they often do. Yup, I know some great lawyers, and also can help you understand what should be addressed in
a partnership or divorce agreement.

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