Law

How To Handle Divorce As A Small Business Owner

3 Mins read
Many people grow up imagining the day when they say “I do” to the perfect person, hoping that their relationship will last forever, but the sad truth is that close to half of marriages do end up in divorce, and the statistics are even higher for second or third marriages. Divorce can be an immensely difficult procedure to negotiate. It’s often a very trying time for both parties, as not only are you having to deal with the emotional fallout from the end of a long-term relationship, but you also have to worry about all the legal and financial ramifications as well. If you’re a small business owner, divorce can be especially worrying, as your business could be included in any settlements and your spouse may be entitled to as much as 50% of your business, which could completely devastate your future plans and finances. Fortunately, you do have options and there are ways you can take action in order to protect your business if ever a divorce does occur. Read on for some top tips and potential strategies you can consider.

Speak To A Lawyer

One of the simplest but most important piece of advice anyone can get regarding small businesses and divorce is to get a lawyer. The simple fact of the matter is that laws regarded divorces and businesses can be immensely complicated, with a lot of different factors to take into account. State laws can vary, rules around different types of businesses can be totally different, and there’s so much to think about in these situations. Without legal experience or expertise on your side, you can easily get lost among the complexity of it all. A lawyer will be able to help you make sense of the situation and a lawyer is definitely necessary to make sure you get what you deserve in a divorce.

Act Fast

If you want to protect your business from the possibility of being split up between you and your future ex-partner, the best way to do so is to act ahead of time. Protective measures should really be put in place before you even get married in the first place, ensuring that your business will be safe if ever a marriage doesn’t work out. Many people overlook this, as they’re happily in love and don’t even consider the possibility of divorce some way down the line. However, you have to think about how important your business is to you and what it represents. If your relationship doesn’t work out, the business might be the one thing you have left to rebuild your life. So act now and get protections in place.

Prenuptials

So what kinds of protective measures can you turn to in order to keep your business safe? Well, in the US, prenuptial agreements are the most commonly turned to option in this kind of situation. A prenuptial, commonly referred to as a prenup, is basically a contract that each partner signs before getting married that lays out how their assets, properties, and income will be divided if they eventually separate. A prenup essentially gives you and your partner the final say over how a possible divorce will play out, which could save you both a lot of time and money in the future, so it’s certainly worth considering. Many couples can find it a little awkward to raise the topic of prenuptial and have the necessary discussions, but the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences.

Postnuptial

So what happens if you’ve already gotten married without signing a prenup? Well, it’s not too late to take action. Postnuptial agreements also exist and basically work the same way as prenups, except for the fact that they’re signed after marriage, rather than before it. They’re less strong and binding than prenups and can be more intensely scrutinized in court, but they’re still an option for people to have at least some degree of protection regarding their business. So if you’ve already gotten married and then start a business and want to protect it, a postnup could be the right option for you.

Conclusion

Nobody wants to deal with the difficulties of divorce, but this is the unfortunate reality for millions of people, and if you’re a business owner, it’s so important to handle it the right way, taking the necessary steps to keep your company safe and in your own hands. Remember, the most important piece of advice is to act sooner, rather than later, to get the best levels of protection.
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