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Protecting Your Business from Divorce

Protecting Your Business from Divorce

Posted By Meyers Law Group, P.C. || 5-Mar-2014

To a newly engaged couple, the word "prenup" is about as unromantic as it gets; it can even seem insulting. A postnuptial agreement may similarly be unappealing to a happily married couple. But the reality is, if you are a business owner, you should put safety measures in place—just in case. Your business is something into which you have put countless hours of exertion and for which you have made incredible sacrifices. The divorce rate is incredibly high, after all, and the improving economy is only boosting those numbers.

If the idea of a nuptial agreement still sounds uncomfortable, think of this as akin to homeowner's insurance, something that you hope you will never need, but that you cannot afford to be without if a hurricane levels your house. The good news is that you do have other options for protecting your business apart from a nuptial agreement (one of which is addressed in this article). The bottom line is, if you own a business, it could be up for grabs if a divorce ever occurs. If you are a business owner then, here a few things you should consider. You can talk about what is most advisable in your situation when you contact an experienced family attorney in Long Island.

Prenups (or Postnuptial Agreements) and Your Business

Before the wedding day, a couple can determine how property would be split up in the event of a divorce. It also addresses what would happen if either spouse dies. It can address financial matters for throughout the marriage as well. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement could cover which of your property is separate property (like your business) and which is marital property, how you would go about dividing marital property, and then it can address matters such as alimony payments, and more. A prenup can be a powerful tool to ensure that your business will be safe, even if the unthinkable should happen. To successfully do this through a nuptial agreement, you and your fiancé (or spouse) would have to:

  • Each retain your own family lawyer
  • Willingly make and sign this agreement
  • Give full financial disclosure
  • Create a fair agreement, not one that is severely imbalanced

There are few other considerations that must be made in this type of agreement, and several things to avoid to keep from invalidating your prenup or post-nuptial agreement, which could end up getting thrown out if you do ever divorce. That is why you cannot work with just any lawyer when you make this; you need a proven family attorney on your side. If you want to look at alternatives to a prenup, however, you could always create a trust.

Domestic or Foreign Asset Protection Trust

To make this trust, you would not need to approach your fiancé with a potentially uncomfortable question about getting a prenup. This decision is all on you. You could place your separate property into this trust, and your business is probably eligible separate property. You may need to talk to a trust lawyer if you have an S Corporation, as this may not be able to go into this type of trust. But C Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Limited Partnerships should all be able to be transferred to this trust. If you divorce, the matter of whether or not your business is separate property will not matter, because you do not own the business, but the trust does.

If you want to look at your legal options when it comes to protecting your business, or if you are looking for a family attorney in Long Island who has the experience to handle such complex matters, look no further than the Meyers Law Group, P.C. Find out why our Long Island family lawyer can provide the legal help you need when you call us today!