If you are going through a divorce, you may be worried about how the new change will impact your life, especially if you have a business to worry about. Business owners have a unique set of concerns they have to address when they divorce, especially if their spouse wishes to claim some, or all, of the business as their own. In any case, if you own your business, you need to take action to protect your assets and investments as soon as possible.
Divorcing as a business owner can be challenging, but there are things you can do to protect your business interests and any connected investments.
Many business owners go into their marriage with protections in place for their business. The most common method of protecting specific assets, including business assets, is to establish a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. These binding documents, called marital agreements, can separate certain properties and assets from the marital property, which could prevent it from being touched during the property division. However, sometimes these documents can be contested, especially if the other spouse has been involved in the business or if the document was established a long time ago.
Your Involvement in the Business
Even though many business owners have marital agreements to protect their businesses from becoming marital property, there are plenty who do not. Even if you do not have a prenup or postnup, you could still be able to protect your business interests through other means. First, you should discuss your options with your attorney and find out if there are any ways to prove that your spouse is not entitled to your business. If you handle the business and your spouse has no association with it, track your involvement and provide a report of the hours you put in on a regular basis. If your spouse participates in the business in any way, track the difference between the two of you and take note of any ways in which your contributions are more substantial.
When you present your case to the judge during the property division, you can use this information as evidence to prove that you are entitled to retain your business.
However, you may still need to consider how your business will play into negotiations. In order to retain full control of your business, you may need to concede, allowing your spouse additional assets or properties in order to compensate for your retention of the business. This is especially likely if your spouse contributed to the business at all during your marriage.
Working with an Experienced Attorney
The most important thing you can do to protect your business during a divorce is to work with a skilled family lawyer who has experience working with business owners. Each case is different, and some rules might not apply to your situation, which is why the individual attention you receive from your Henderson divorce attorney at Ford & Friedman is so valuable. Don’t wait to defend your business, take your first step and reach out to our firm today.
Contact Ford & Friedman to discuss your case with our Henderson divorce attorney.