Getting divorced as a business owner can be more complicated because you have more complex assets and you want to protect your business. There are a lot of different factors that you have to consider, especially when dividing assets with your spouse, that someone who is simply an employee would never have to think about.
As such, here are a few things that business owners want to keep in mind when they decide to end their marriage.
Is your spouse a co-owner?
In some cases, two people will start a business together as a married couple. If your spouse is a co-owner, then you have to figure out if you want to keep working together, if you are going to sell the business to someone else, or if one of you wants to buy out the share owned by the other person. But, if you are co-owners, don’t forget that this is a joint asset that has to be divided properly.
Did the value increase?
Even if you’re not co-owners, if the value of your business increased dramatically during your marriage, your spouse may have a right to some of those increases. For instance, maybe they allowed you to invest family money to grow the business, or maybe they stayed home and took care of the children so that you could focus on your business for 80 hours a week. If they can show that they helped your business achieve that growth, they may want a percentage of the business assets.
Do you have a prenuptial agreement?
One of the best things that business owners can do is simply to use a prenuptial agreement when they get married or a postnuptial agreement after they get married. You can use this document to easily define the business and all of the related assets as yours so that there’s no confusion over who should get those assets in the divorce. Doing this in advance is often less difficult.
The above are just a few things to keep in mind as you go through this complicated process. Make sure you know what legal options you have.