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Dealing with divorce as a business owner

In our last post, we talked about prenuptial agreements and the important legal protection they provide divorcing spouses. Today, we will talk about business owners and what they need to consider when they, or their spouse, files for divorce. Prenuptial agreements, business owners and divorce are three related ideas that can create complicated issues when two spouses decide to end their marriage.

Any business owner should utilize a prenuptial agreement to protect his or her business. Provisions can be inserted into the prenup that protect their business from their spouse in case of divorce.

However, if a business owner does not utilize a prenuptial agreement, there are still ways that he or she can protect their business. To begin, you should get a fair valuation of your business as of your wedding day. You should maintain excellent financial records while operating your business and you should not mix personal and business expenses. Also, you should not have your spouse work within the company.

These are just a few ways to protect your business should a divorce occur in the future, and for the most part they are simple actions. The implementation of these steps can be trickier, and actually going through a divorce while trying to protect your business -- may it be a closely held business, a limited liability company, a professional practice or otherwise -- is complicated. If you are a business owner that is dealing with a divorce, consulting with an experienced family law attorney can prove to be very beneficial.

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Goddard & Malmquist
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Barrington, IL 60010

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