On behalf of Cobert, Haber & Haber Attorneys at Law posted in Divorce on Monday, October 17, 2016.
If you are a business owner and are contemplating divorce, you may have some concerns that go beyond what a divorcing couple would typically be thinking about. For example, owning a business can make a divorce much more complicated, because that business is a major asset. It could be subject to division as part of the divorce settlement. If that is the case, you could potentially lose a lot more than you would expect. Dividing a business isn’t always easy, and sometimes it can’t be done at all due to the nature of that business and whether the two of you can share it in some way after the divorce.
Protecting Your Business During A Divorce
There are ways that business owners can protect themselves when they are getting divorced. One of these ways is through a prenuptial agreement. Another way is through keeping your business’ assets and property completely separate from your marital assets and property. This is not always easy to do, but it is very important and should be done from the beginning. As soon as you put any business funds into your marital account, for example, you could find that those funds are no longer protected if you should divorce. Keeping things separate and having a prenuptial agreement are both very important.
Consider What Is At Risk
The biggest thing at risk is the business itself. You could end up having to give as much as 50% of your business to your spouse in the divorce settlement. If you don’t want your ex-spouse as your business partner, you may even have to liquidate the business and divide the money that brings. Or there may be other ways to come to an agreement, such as buying out your spouse’s half of the business or paying your spouse a lump sum that you can both agree on in order for them to give up any future rights to the business or its income. Reducing or eliminating the risk should be the focus for business owners.
Talk To A Divorce Attorney
For information about how to set your business up the right way and protect it from loss in a divorce, you should talk to a divorce attorney who has experience handling divorces for business owners. You may not be able to protect all your assets, depending on how you have handled them already and how close you are to a divorce, but you can find out your options. That can help you make choices about what to do next, so you can focus on continuing to operate your business, even if your marriage is ending. Protecting your assets is vital when you own a business, and with the number of marriages that end in divorce that protection is more important than ever.
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