You have invested endless time, money and energy into your business, and now you fear that your life’s work will be taken away from you. Whether you own your business independently of, or in conjunction with, your spouse, now that you have made the difficult decision to divorce, where does your business stand?
The divorce of a business owner or co-owners can lead to uncertainty and instability in a business, which can be frustrating and frightening for all parties involved. If you own a business, you likely have many questions about the consequences of a divorce on your business, including:
- Does the divorce affect the ownership interests of each spouse?
- Will the business need to be sold?
- What responsibilities do divorcing spouses have to the business during the divorce process?
- How can a court order affect a business if the divorcing owners cannot reach an out-of-court agreement?
- Will the business be considered in the division of marital property?
- How will the spouse’s roles in the business change after divorce?
While pre-planning is the best way to avoid uncertainty in the event of divorce, such conversations with your spouse may be uncomfortable and unsettling. As such, many business owners have no plan in place for spousal rights in the event of divorce. For businesses owned by married couples, divorce can be destructive if both spouses are vital to the business and can no longer work together. Even the non-owner spouse of a business owner may have rights in a divorce that can be damaging to the business.
An experienced attorney can help walk you through the complexities involved in the divorce of business owners and get a plan in place to protect your business.