Starting your business and getting married may have been two of the most major milestones in your life. At the time, both events likely brought you great joy, and you undoubtedly could not wait to see how each would grow over the years. Unfortunately, while your business may have thrived, your marriage is now ending in divorce.
You likely have many concerns about how the divorce will affect your business. Even if you started and operated the business yourself, your spouse could potentially have some claim to it. As a result, you may want to look closely at your exact situation.
Questions to ask
Because the well-being of your business has likely been on your mind from the beginning, you may have already taken useful steps that can work in your favor in relation to your pending divorce. In order to determine whether you have less to worry about than you think, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Did you pay yourself a reasonable salary and use those funds for the benefit of the household? If you only invested your income into your business, your spouse may claim that he or she did not receive a fair portion of the income.
- Did you create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement? Either of these documents could include terms that protect your business in the event of divorce.
- Did you limit your spouse’s involvement with the business? Even if your spouse did not have a direct role in the company, if he or she did help with the company in any capacity, a valid claim could exist.
- Did you create a buy-sell agreement with your partner or shareholders? This agreement could give your partner or shareholders the ability to purchase any shares of the company that you would otherwise have to give your spouse during property division proceedings.
In a best-case scenario, you will have taken at least some of these precautions. Of course, even if you did not plan ahead for divorce, it does not mean that you are completely out of luck.
Working with your legal counsel
By enlisting the help of a California attorney, you can have legal support when it comes to finding the best options for protecting your businesses and reaching favorable outcomes in your divorce case. Having this help and the right information could go a long way in reaching your goals.