Entering a marriage as a business owner often means there are prenuptial agreements. They are a good idea to keep the business safe if things go south, but they aren’t always signed.
If you feel like your marriage is on the rocks, there are a few key strategies that can help divorce-proof your company to keep it from being divided along with your assets, sold to raise cash, or getting stuck in a sticky situation with your ex-spouse as a business partner. With the help of a Florida divorce attorney, you can keep what matters most to you safe.
Here are 4 protective measures to use while things are still rosy:
- When in doubt, sign a prenup. It allows you to designate the business as a separate property owned only by you, avoiding the potential for a lot of mess in the future.
- A postnup is a good backup option. Signed after the wedding, it can still help define your business as separate, though judges are often skeptical of these agreements.
- Consider a trust. Keeping your business in a trust keeps it from being an asset in your marriage as it removes you from being the personal owner.
- Maintain insurance always. If needed, you can liquidate a whole-life insurance policy to its cash value to buy out your spouse’s part of the business.
If your marriage is already too far gone, there are still some things you can do to keep your business safe. Here are 5 ideas:
- Stay organized. Keep good detailed records, maintaining separation between business accounts and personal accounts.
- Pay yourself what you’re worth. Instead of sacrificing family income for the sake of business, pay yourself what makes sense. Your spouse may try to argue that they deserve more of the assets if they can claim they’ve been deprived over the years.
- Don’t work with your spouse. The longer you work with your spouse and the higher position is that they held, the more case they will have to prove they should continue profiting from the company’s growth.
- Be prepared to sacrifice. Sacrificing more of your other assets may make it easier for you to retain ownership of the business.
- Get a fair valuation made. Having more than one valuation made is a good strategy to cross-check the results to make sure it’s accurate.
Divorce is stressful enough without the added pressure of protecting your business at all costs. Division of assets can be a daunting aspect of divorce, but with the right attorney representation, it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re struggling with divorce as a business owner, contact Tampa Bay family law attorneys Knox & Belcher at 813-830-9070 or by filling out this consultation form.