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This is one of the those situations that you could argue either way.
You say you want "out." What does that mean to you? Does that mean that you get some money for your share of assets and income? Or do you just want to get free of any liabilities?
This is one of those situations where you really do need a local attorney to help you - someone with experiencing in dissolving partnerships. It's similar in many ways to getting divorced, but the attorney will need to arrange for an appraisal of the company's value (otherwise, how can you split things up accurately?)
I hope that responds to your question and you can "accept" it.
If not, please let me know where I haven't met your expectations and I'll try to respond.
I think that whenever or wherever one has an oral contract it becomes a very fact-driven decision for the judge. So I am going to sound like I'm giving you one of those "lawyer" answers, but when I look at this objectively it could go either way.
Put another way, I think you can make a very sound, viable argument that you own 40% of the company. You will want to support your position with as much evidence as possible, of course--even little things, like letterhead with both your names, could help support your case.
What I can't tell you - and no one can - is whether you're likely to win. It's so much easier with a written contract, because, generally, what you see in black in white is what you get.
If I've been of service, please "accept" this service. I'm going offline until tomorrow anyway.
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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Merry A. Kogut or Key Peninsula Law in Washington.