You started the company that you own with the intention of supporting your family. You never anticipated that your relationship with your spouse would reach a point where divorce seems like a real possibility.
However, that is your current situation. You run and own a successful business and have to worry about protecting that company if you decide you want to move forward with a divorce. You don’t have a prenuptial agreement or any other documents that will keep your business out of the divorce. You also don’t want to work with your ex or close down the company you’ve built.
What are some of the ways that you can protect the business you developed during the divorce process?
Perform a thorough valuation
Given that you started the business or acquired it during the marriage, the business is likely mostly marital property regardless of the actual formal ownership of the company.
You can reduce how much of the company’s value is at risk in divorce proceedings with a careful business valuation that factors in everything from the depreciation of your manufacturing equipment to your future salary obligations to workers.
Explore alternative dispute resolution options
Property division proceedings in family court are unpredictable, as judges have to make complex decisions based on numerous factors. The easiest way to secure a specific outcome to community property division matters, like retaining sole ownership of your business, is to cooperate with your spouse to settle the divorce early in the process.
Whether through collaborative negotiations or mediation, it may be possible for the two of you to reach a settlement that allows you to retain the business and compensate them appropriately. Those with more valuable assets have much more to lose if they mismanage the divorce process. Negotiations around a business in a divorce can be complex, especially if your spouse also works at the company or stops by to visit.
Educating yourself about your options and obligations can help you arrange for a more appropriate and fair property division settlement as someone with complex assets, like a business, in your name.