Choosing to divorce may be the best way to secure a happy future for both yourself and your spouse, but it comes with many uncertainties. If you are a business owner, for example, the fate of your enterprise may be in question as a result of your divorce.
A business that you start while married, or that your spouse participates in operating or growing, is subject to asset division during the divorce process. This can necessitate splitting the business or liquidating it entirely unless you take steps to protect it.
Form a written agreement
Putting into writing that you will retain complete control of your business in the event of divorce is the best way to protect your livelihood. If you and your spouse do not have a prenuptial agreement in place stating as much, you may still form a postnuptial agreement if your partner is amicable to the idea.
Separate the business from your marriage
When divorce seems imminent, it is a good idea to start separating the business from your marriage as much as possible. Structure the company as a separate entity apart from yourself and lessen your spouse’s involvement so that they have less claim to business assets.
Get an accurate business valuation
If all else fails, you can negotiate with your spouse to keep the business by knowing its true value. After receiving an impartial business valuation, you can suggest that your spouse can keep an equitable amount of marital assets as a compromise, you can retain full ownership of your business and keep it intact.
If you cannot reach a compromise with your soon-to-be ex-spouse on the topic of the family business, it may be necessary to sell the company and split the money. Before that happens, take every step you can to maintain ownership.