Any divorce can be tough to manage, but one where there are a lot of assets to allocate can be particularly stressful to navigate. One thing that many of our clients ask us is “How can I protect my business?” In many cases, your spouse is owed at least part of that business’s value, even if you were the one who started it and handled most of its day-to-day operations. However, there are some ways to protect a business and argue that it should be considered separate, not marital, property. A Tazewell County divorce with a business lawyer from our firm is ready to help you.
When Can a Business Be Considered Separate Property?
A business can be separate property or marital property. If a business was established during your marriage and both spouses played a part in building it, it’s probably not surprising that the court is going to see that as marital property. However, if you established a business on your own before you got married, you can make a more convincing argument that this business belongs to you alone. You entered the marriage with it, so you should be allowed to leave the marriage with it. That is only fair.
Can a Prenuptial Agreement Protect My Business?
One smart way to protect a business is through the use of a prenuptial agreement. These get a bad reputation, perhaps movies and television are to blame, but these documents can be a great way for both spouses to protect themselves and their assets in a high net worth divorce.
You just need to make sure that the prenuptial agreement is written with the help of a lawyer and that it is legally enforceable. It cannot be signed under duress and everyone must be honest about their assets. If you want to protect your business, this is one of the easiest routes to go.
What Can Make it Harder to Protect My Business?
Unfortunately, people sometimes do things that make it harder to argue that their business is separate property. You can complicate matters by:
- Giving your spouse a role in running your business
- Using joint funds to prop up your business
- Putting your spouse’s name on anything relating to the business
Now it is far easier for your spouse to claim a piece of your company or something equivalent in value. You can say “I want to protect my business.”, but as far as your spouse is concerned you are talking about “our business.”
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you are looking for a legal team that can help you protect your assets and make it through a divorce with minimal pain, schedule your consultation. Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. has helped plenty of people in your situation, so if you are ready to ask for help protecting your business our experienced family lawyers are ready to offer it.