Partnership disputes are an inevitable part of any business structure that involves partners — and they can have wide-ranging outcomes. Most of the time, it’s in everyone’s best interests for partners to achieve a resolution and move on from the disagreement.
You might think a partnership dispute isn’t a big deal and that your partners will eventually come around. Ultimately, however, it may take legal action to resolve a dispute between business partners. By that time, it’s hard to guess what the quality of these business relationships will be on the other side if they survive at all.
The Top 3 Ways Partners Resolve Disputes
Are you wondering how to resolve partnership disputes? The best way to do so is to avoid one in the first place. The more detailed the written terms of a partnership agreement are, the less likely you are to encounter serious disagreements.
A well-written partnership agreement should be designed to offer detailed guidance on how situations subject to dispute should be handled. Even if you’re already embroiled in a partnership dispute, it would be a good idea to consider how you might avoid a similar dispute in the future by updating the written agreements you have in place.
In the meantime, dispute resolution can be achieved either formally or informally. Ultimately, it depends on how much the partners in question are willing to communicate, compromise, and collaborate to achieve a resolution without going to court.
1. Communicate Clearly
Communication, or lack thereof, is often the most important element in partnership dispute resolutions. The guiding principles for effective communication between partners include the following:
- Set aside emotions
- Communicate clearly
- Work to see other viewpoints
- Be willing to compromise
- Brainstorm new solutions
Disputes often escalate when emotions run high. Working to ensure that all partners feel respected and heard goes a long way toward achieving a willingness to find a resolution.
If conversations between partners are going nowhere, the next best strategy is to engage the services of a mediator. Mediators are skilled at neutralizing emotionally charged conversations. They also help all parties see when they’re being rigid or unreasonable.
It’s best to find a mediator experienced in business mediation. They may be able to leverage their background to suggest resolutions that you and your partners may not have considered.
3. Legal Intervention
Serious partnership disputes that can’t be resolved through discussion or mediation often end up in court. If it looks like that is the direction your partnership dispute is headed, you should contact a business lawyer as soon as possible.
There are advantages to being the party to initiate court action. But even if it’s too late to file in court first, an experienced business lawyer can review your case, help devise a strategy, and work to argue your case during court proceedings.
The Long-Term Impact of a Partnership Dispute
Partnership disputes can fundamentally change the relationships among partners. In some situations, especially those that end in formal legal action, the strain placed on these business relationships might be so great that some partners choose to leave the partnership entirely.
It’s unfortunate when a lack of communication and differences of opinion harm beneficial business relationships. Whether you’re heading into a partnership dispute, just coming out of one, or are simply working to avoid such a situation in the future, a partnership dispute lawyer can help.
Get Help from a Dallas Partnership Dispute Attorney
Don’t underestimate the potential long-term impact of a partnership dispute. It’s best to seek guidance early on before a dispute escalates into something serious. The Sul Lee Law Firm is an experienced business law firm located in Dallas, Texas. To discuss how to resolve partnership disputes in your business, give us a call today to schedule a consultation with a Dallas partnership dispute lawyer.