Law

Tips For Divorce Proofing Your Business And Protecting It From Your Spouse

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ergrtgAs you likely already know, running a business can be extremely difficult. One of the few things that is actually more difficult is managing your marriage and business simultaneously. Even the world’s best business owners can be brought down, due to a personal problem, such as a divorce. Putting in too much energy and effort into your business can quickly put a strain on your marriage. Before you know it, your spouse will have filed for a divorce. In the United States, approximately 40 to 50 percent of first marriages end in a divorce. It is pertinent to take steps to prevent your business from becoming your ex-spouse’s possession. Tips for doing just that will be provided below.

The Prenup

If you ran your business before your marriage, you should have gotten a prenup. Unfortunately, this is something that most couples never consider. There is a stigma associated with the prenup and even asking your partner to sign the document can hurt your relationship. Nevertheless, it is generally a good idea to do so. It isn’t necessary to ask for everything. Just make sure your prenup clearly specifies that your business remains your business even after a divorce. This is impossible, if the business was started after the marriage.

Try Mediating

When you’ve found yourself caught up in a divorce, you will have two options. You can fight it out in the court or you can attempt to mediate with your spouse. In general, the latter option is best. If you’re able to remain cordial with your spouse, you may be able to negotiate to a settlement that is favorable for both parties. If your spouse is clear headed and sensible, he or she may agree to let you keep the business in return for another asset, such as real estate, money or an automobile. Some family law attorneys will also double as mediators. Using the services of a mediator is a good idea and will help you reach a good conclusion for you and your spouse.

Strip Their Duties Immediately

Many business owners allow their spouse to shoulder some of the burden. This is great, until a divorce has been filed. As soon as the paperwork has been submitted in the court of law, it is essential to remove your spouse from their duties. Your spouse will have a much stronger case, if they served an important role for your company and did so for an extensive period of time. If your spouse helped the business grow, it is almost certain that the lawyer will agree that he or she deserves some of its profits. This is why it is pertinent to remove them from their duties as quickly as possible.

Setting Up A Payment Plan

At the end of the day, most business owners will be forced to pay their spouse for their share of the business. A lawyer will likely be able to help you keep the total to a minimum. Nevertheless, the amount could still be substantial. It is in your best interest to get the debt paid as quickly as possible, without putting financial strain on yourself. Setting up a payment plan is a good idea. With this type of arrangement, you will be able to pay a certain amount each month, until the debt is paid in full.

Paying It Off Quicker

Alternatively, it may be best to get your spouse paid off quicker. If you feel that this would be wise, you should consider raising capital by selling a stake in your business. You can find an investor, who may be interested in becoming an owner of your business. Alternatively, you can always sell a minority share to some of your employees. Either option will help you get the money you need, so you can pay off your spouse and move on with your life.

Published by Kidal Delonix (764 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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