How to protect Your Business in the Event of a Divorce

When it comes to running a business, there will be challenges and distractions that will greet you at every twist and turn. It’s important to develop a thick skin as a business owner and to keep your work and home life separate. One of the biggest challenges faced by any business owner, is going through a divorce and trying to maintain a tight ship at work.

Whether your divorce is dragged into the settlement agreement, or whether you have to deal with this turmoil simultaneously whilst running a business, it’s clear that challenges are tackled. If your business is brought under scrutiny, it’s important to make sure that you are taking all of the necessary precautionary steps. It’s important to make sure that you are thinking of what will be the best outcome for your employees, your livelihood and your spouse.

Think of important things such as how much your business is worth, how involved your business is worth and what the outcome should be, the judge will put every aspect of your business under scrutiny to ensure that a fair outcome is met. With this in mind, consider taking the following steps when protecting your business from a divorce.

How can I protect my business ahead of a divorce?

If you are wanting to protect your business from a divorce, then there are a number of different routes that you can take before hand. Here are some of the key steps that you should consider taking:

  • Get a prenuptial agreement – many business owners are divided over this idea. Some believe that there is no other way to fully protect your business in case of a divorce and others believe that it is morbid to premeditate a divorce before you have married. Regardless of the outcome, it’s important to have this conversation if you already own a business. This will ensure that all of your hard work is protected from a divorce.

  • Keep your business and private assets separate – If you have agreed that a divorce is the best option for yourself and your spouse, it’s important to make sure that you are having the right kind of conversation. Many relationships end on amicable terms but can often grown bitter during the settlement meetings. It’s important to discuss and agree upon the outcome of the business early on, as this will help to reassure that your business will be protected.

  • Try and share ownership – If yourself and your spouse have built up the business together and both have visions, then you need to really consider how their absence could affect the business. If your spouse is an integral part of your business, then it may be a good idea to discuss joint ownership. Your spouse could either become a silent partner, work on a rotation to yourself, or you could even work simultaneously depending on the circumstances.

Getting your business valued:

When you get your business valued, it’s important to make sure that the accountant is impartial and is not associated with yourself or your business in any way. This is because there is a chance that if the account is associated with yourself, they will undervalue your business in order to give you the best chances of retaining sole ownership. When this is questioned in court, it could have negative implications and will be ruled as unreliable evidence. In essence, this could really help your case.

The next steps:

If you are going through a messy divorce, then it’s always a good idea to make sure that you seek help from dispute resolution lawyers as soon as possible, as they will help you to prepare and to reach a suitable agreement. You should think about what you would like for the future of your business and whether it can be achieved without your spouse.

Remember, as painful as your divorce is going to be, you have to rise above it as a business owner and think about your employees and their families during this time. If anything happens to your business or if you decide to sell or tear it apart, you will be hurting your employees as well!

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