Marriage is never an easy thing, and divorce is even tougher. Everyone wants and plans on their marriage lasting forever, but the truth of the matter is that most marriages end in divorce. If you think shared custody is going to be a battle, just imagine what this divorce is going to do to your business assets. It is possible that you owned and operated your own business before you got married. Now, you are going to have to share half of everything with your ex. This might be enough to ruin some small businesses. Regardless, if your business was up and running before you got married, or if you opened it during your marriage, there are precautions that you can take to protect it.
Understanding Prenuptial And Postnuptial Contracts
Trying to get your spouse to sign a prenuptial contract isn’t the most romantic way to start off a relationship, but it can protect your business assets. In today’s world, you would be surprised at how many people are open to these types of arrangements. Just remember that there are a lot of different terms and agreements that can be implemented into a prenuptial contract, so make sure you discuss the situation thoroughly with your business lawyer before haphazardly drawing up a contract.
Another type of contract that can protect your business assets is a postnuptial contract. This type of contract is drawn up when your business is opened after you are already married. The agreement can help you and your spouse determine which parts of the business will be considered marital property and what will not be.
Try A Working Relationship
The sad truth of the matter is that sometimes there is nothing you can do to come away clean from a divorce. One of the best ways to try to avoid the whole situation together is to try to develop a good working relationship with your spouse. As hard as this might be and as unrealistic as it sounds, it is possible for couples to be divorced and still maintain a good working relationship. It is even a good ideal to agree to separate business attorneys ahead of time, so that both of you can ensure there will not be any betrayal during the divorce.
Form A Limited Liability Company
There are a lot of benefits that you can receive from turning your small business into a limited liability company. However, you might be surprised to learn that it can even shield you during a divorce. Even if you are the sole member of the company, assets such as real estate and bank accounts can be shielded during the divorce.
Remove The Spouse From Business Operations Immediately
If your spouse has a position title within the business, it is important that you remove him or her from that title as soon as possible. The reason for this is, because the longer the spouse contributes to the operations of the business the greater chance that he or she has to claim business assets during the divorce. Any spouse should be quickly transitioned out of his or her role within the business as quickly as possible. Working with a divorce lawyer for this specific purpose is highly recommended.
Consider Hiring A Mediator
It is truly in your best interest to avoid a lengthy courtroom battle. The same can be said for your significant other. With that being said, you should attempt to find a reliable alternative. It may be a good idea to hire a professional mediator. This individual will attempt to help you and your significant other negotiate terms that are favorable for both. You might be required to give up a few personal assets in return for your business. Nevertheless, the mediator will do his or her best to ensure both sides are satisfied with the end agreement. This offers a far more cordial way to escape your marriage, without putting your business at risk.