How To Protect Your Business in a Divorce
Property distribution is almost always a complicated issue in a Florida divorce; however, this matter can become even more complex if one spouse owns a business. If you are considering filing for divorce in Florida there are steps that you can take to protect your business. At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa Bay, our team of dedicated legal professionals can help you protect your business in divorce proceedings and defend your interests throughout the divorce process. To learn more, call the office or contact us today to schedule an initial consultation of your case.
Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
One of the easiest ways to protect your business in a divorce is to sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. These documents can delineate property interests, including property interests in a business. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be signed either before or after a wedding, which can protect a business that is founded prior to or during the marriage. These documents can also delineate how the business will be valued and how other assets will be divided to account for the value of the business.
Keep Separate Home and Business Assets
Another way to protect your business in a divorce is to keep home and business assets separate. If business and marital assets are combined in bank accounts, or if marital assets are used for business purposes, the business can become commingled property in a divorce. By keeping home and business assets completely separate, you can protect your business by claiming it as separate property.
Reduce Investment or Terminate Your Spouse
If your spouse is an employee of the business or has invested in the business, consider divesting their interest or terminating their employment with the company. The more that you can reduce their presence and involvement in the business, the less opportunity your spouse has to claim ownership over part of the company. However, it should be noted that divesting or terminating a spouse from the business will likely come with questions, so it is not always recommended if you are not ready to discuss divorce with your spouse.
Consider Buying Out Your Spouse
One final option to protect your business in a divorce is to consider buying out your spouse of their interest in the business during property distribution negotiations. If it is impossible to claim the business as separate property, you may be able to buy out your spouse’s interest with other marital property in the estate. This may mean giving up assets that you were hoping to keep in the divorce, but if you want to retain ownership of your business without your spouse it may be the only option during your divorce.
Call or Contact Our Office Today
If you have concerns about protecting your business interests during a divorce, contact a Tampa divorce lawyer at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III to schedule an initial consultation of your case.