It’s none of my business!
Often a husband or a wife will start a small business in their particular area of interest, which is totally separate from their spouse’s interests or livelihood, as a useful way to supplement the family income.
In one such instance the wife operated a number of clothing stores. She ran these quite independently from her husband, (who was a salary employee with a major Australian company) in all but one exception. That exception being he was asked, and did, sign as guarantor on each of the leases on the premises. Apart from acting as guarantor, he had no other involvement in the businesses.
The clothing stores all closed down. There were significant amounts owing to the landlords and each of them called in their guarantees. Subsequently, both the husband and the wife had to file for bankruptcy. In the wife’s bankruptcy estate there were no assets to realise. The husband however, due to his income, was liable for tens of thousands of dollars in compulsory income contributions over the three year period of bankruptcy to the trustee.
While practically there may have been little choice but to execute the guarantees of the landlords, the effect of this was two bankruptcies and significant income contribution liabilities for someone not directly involved in the business. The lesson to be learnt? If its separate – keep it separate.