Owning a business can strain on your finances and your marriage. In fact, many business owners find it difficult to maintain a business and a marriage. If you and your spouse own a business together and are considering a divorce, you probably have a lot of questions about asset division. Only an attorney can shed light on the unique legal circumstances surrounding your case, but there are many ways to protect your rights and your business at any stage in the divorce process.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS AS A BUSINESS OWNER
- Get a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. In short, a prenuptial / postnuptial agreement is a written statement between spouses that determines what will happen to their financial assets in the event of a divorce. Pre and postnuptial agreements are unpopular among many couples, but they are one of the best ways safeguard the future of your finances in the event of a divorce.
- Don’t mix business and personal finances. Keep your business finances and your personal finances completely separate. This means you should never borrow from your household bank account to cover business expenses and vice versa. It is also important to maintain efficient and accurate financial records of each account.
- Use a fair valuation professional. To get an accurate representation of your business’ value, use a court-appointed, neutral valuation professional to review your business. If you are uncertain as to the accuracy of the valuation, speak to an attorney about contesting the valuation and seeking a more realistic estimate.
MORE ABOUT PROPERTY DIVISION AND YOUR RIGHTS
Missouri is an equitable distribution state. In other words, the state strives to divide your property in a way that is impartial and fair – not necessarily equal. The court determines what is fair and takes a variety of factors into consideration when making this decision, including:
- You and your spouse’s economic situation after the divorce
- The value of your business and its predicted continuing value
- Whether the business increased in value during the marriage
- Whether you or your spouse will have custody of your children
- You and your spouse’s contributions to the business’ success
For more information about divorce, protecting your business, and your legal rights, speak with a St. Louis family law attorney from The Buxner Law Firm today.