Divorces are rarely simple. Even those without children or high-value properties involved can come with complications that make for a lengthy process. So, when a business is involved and both divorcing parties have assets at stake, the potential for complications may increase exponentially. There are steps you can take, however, that may prevent unnecessary conflict and complexity so that you can move forward with a divorce while protecting your business interests.
How you approach the business as a divorce-related asset will make a difference. Consider drafting a contract as a means of protection. A postnuptial agreement, for instance, can give you and your ex-spouse control over the division of the business assets. What’s more, when you address property (such as a business) in a postnuptial agreement, you potentially help speed up the divorce process, which may save money and time in the long run.
Be sure to prioritize clarity in the contract(s) you and your ex-spouse develop prior to your divorce. It is possible you may not be on the same page as your ex. Consider also hiring an experienced attorney to help you and your ex draft an effective, cohesive contract.
If you do not want to go the contract route, there are other steps you can take regarding your business assets. Gather all documents and records of how marital and non-marital assets were spent. Try to answer: Did any of these go toward the business? Additionally, you will want to separate records of your personal and business expenses and document cash transactions to ensure clarity in the division process.
Even if you are not considering divorce at present, contemplate taking precautionary measures (like a post-nuptial agreement) and keeping well-organized expense records. You simply never know what may happen in the future of your marriage.