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Protecting your business during a divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2021 | Divorce, Marital Agreements |

Divorce is difficult, and it can become even more challenging to divvy up the assets when you own a New Jersey business. Most people don’t want to have to sell their business to evenly share the portion that the ex-spouse is entitled to, and there are some pretty undesirable consequences to selling off a part of the business to an ex-spouse. But you might have to come up with a solution, so you best know what your ex-spouse is entitled to when you get a divorce and what you can do to lessen the damages when you do finally make the decision on how these assets will be disbursed.

How divorce impacts businesses

When you decide to divorce, you might think that you have to sell your business to distribute the assets evenly, but people often don’t want to, and it’s also not always necessary. Selling the business most often happens when both people have equal stock in the company or one is entitled to a big cash payout but the one who owns the business doesn’t have the liquid assets to pay that out, forcing them to sell the business. Another way that divorce can potentially make business dealings more difficult is that it often disrupts the day-to-day running of the company simply because the owner is distracted. Finally, your divorce could impact your other partners. For instance, if you have to give a portion of the company to your ex-spouse, your partners could be affected if they have a smaller stake in the company that your ex-spouse.

What about prenups?

Having a prenuptial agreement is often the best way to protect the pre-marriage value of the business, which can be very useful to anyone who already owns a business of sizeable value. The value that was added to the business throughout the time that the couple was married is still open to being divided, but the value of the business at the time just before the marriage is still considered to be the owner’s property.