When you first open for business, you may cover your bases when it comes to determining what structure would best suit your enterprise, what types of insurance you may need and other factors. However, if you are married or plan to be married, steps that you take now could affect your success just as seriously if you and your spouse eventually divorce. We at The Law Offices of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., understand that there are ways for you to prevent the division of marital property from breaking your company in half, or breaking it altogether.
Huffington Post points out that preparing an agreement in writing, whether before or during your marriage, may be one of the surest ways to keep your company whole. Judges do not automatically respect a prenuptial or postnuptial document, though, if it appears that your spouse has contributed significantly to your success during the marriage. For example, if you regularly use your jointly held personal assets or accounts to fund the venture, or if your spouse is employed by the company at any point, the court may rule that your spouse is entitled to his or her fair share.
If you already own the business before you say I do, make sure you know how much it is worth when you get married. This professional valuation may indicate to the court what portion of the company may be considered separate property. Discovering that your business is considered marital property is not necessarily a nail in the coffin. Your spouse may agree to take other assets so that you can keep your company intact. More information about property division is available on our web page.