If you run a business, have a stake in a partnership, or simply own business interests, you may wonder how you can protect those interests or assets in a divorce. Planning ahead of time is the best way to ensure that your career and business legacy are protected in the event that something happens to your marriage. However, even if you haven’t planned ahead, you may still have options.
One form of planning that can effectively protect business interests is the creation of a prenuptial agreement. These documents, which can also be created after a marriage as a postnuptial agreement, specify that both spouses have made a decision about what to do with shared property if the marriage is dissolved at a later time. The process of creating a prenup allows the couple to bargain and negotiate at a time when they presumably have each other’s interests in mind in addition to their own.
To prevent a spouse from gaining a partnership interest in your business, you may wish to have your business incorporate a buy-sell agreement that limits the situations in which ownership can be transferred. In cases of divorce, the company may be able to force the person who gains a business interest in a divorce to sell it back to the partnership rather than allowing that person to become a partner.
If you have not planned ahead, and your main goal in the divorce is to keep your business, the collaborative divorce process may provide you with options. During this process, you and your spouse can work together to craft an agreement that allows you to keep the assets you want. In exchange, you may have to give up other assets, agree to alimony payments, or make other concessions.
To learn more about how to protect your business or maintain control of assets in a divorce, consult the St. Petersburg-area divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A.