After the breakup: The Closing Company

These entrepreneurs built a company, divorced, sold it - and launched a second venture together.

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When entrepreneurial couples divorce, their company is usually dissolved and the assets divided. But among a few hardy partners, a romantic breakup doesn't end the business connection.

Perhaps no one knows that better than Yvette Betancourt and Martyn Verster. They married in 1988, and eight years later, Betancourt saw demand for a high-end school bus service that featured comfortable seats and snacks. She promptly created a company to fill the niche. Soon, she was managing a fleet of ten vans.

The business took off, but when the couple divorced in 2001 - "not just because of work," says Verster, "there was a lot of other stress" - they sold the company and pursued separate careers.

Three years later, Betancourt began itching to launch a title-and-escrow firm. She asked Verster to join her. Verster said yes.

He's a lawyer; she's a real-estate agent: a perfect match.

In 2004 The Closing Company was born in Miami. It turned profits its first year and grossed $600,000 in 2007.

"Before, when we disagreed, there was this this underlying feeling of 'Don't you love me?'" explains Betancourt. "It sounds immature, but that comes into play. Some separate feelings out, but we're better off working not as a couple." Both remain unmarried, though Betancourt is in a relationship.

She relies on Verster for legal matters, he counts on her for marketing, and their two children can see their parents together on a day-to-day basis. Customers are impressed.

"They don't step on each other's toes," says client David Kutner, franchisee owner of HomeVestors of America.

"We've been told," says Betancourt, "that if we can manage two companies and an amicable divorce, then tricky real estate issues must be a piece of cake." - Phaedra Hise, with additional reporting by Ingrid Tharasook.  To top of page

What do you think about our profiled partners? Have you tried to work with your spouse? Join the discussion.

Curious about more couples in business? Check out GVCwinstar, a telecom run by Kirkland Dudley with his wife and partner, Tedra.
To write a note to the editor about this article, click here.

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.