Divorce is an emotional, trying process. If you have a business, you may be concerned about losing a part of it to your spouse, too. If you and your spouse worked together, there could be a chance that your business could struggle as you try to figure out how to stay open or if you can at all.
If you want to protect your business during your divorce, it is possible to do so. You’ll need to think about a few different factors to determine how you can, though.
Deciding how to protect your business in divorce
Determining how to protect your business during your divorce starts with deciding if your business is separate or marital property. If it is separate property, then you may not need to do much at all to keep it for yourself. On the other hand, if you started the business during your marriage, you may need to divide it as a part of your property division agreement.
For the most part, you’ll know if your business is separate property if:
- You owned it before you got married
- You inherited the business
If you don’t have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and your business was started during your marriage, you will need to get creative to help protect your business.
Paying off your spouse may be an excellent solution
If your spouse doesn’t have an active role in your business but does have a claim to it, one of the things you need to do is to consider buying out your spouse’s share. For example, if they’re entitled to a quarter of the value of your business, consider paying them that amount in full in your settlement or exchanging their share for another asset.
You may also consider a longer-term payout, sometimes with interest, if you can’t afford to buy them out all at once. This could help you keep your business to yourself and avoid having to pay them a lump sum. If you intend to keep growing your business, this could be a great way to pay off your ex-spouse while still being able to protect your business’s profits.