Decades of hard work can go into the creation of a successful business and when a divorce puts your assets at risk, it can create a significant threat to your livelihood. Even if a company was founded before a marriage, your spouse may have legal grounds to claim that your business should be counted as community property. California’s laws regarding the division of property state that each spouse must receive an equal share of marital assets. If you do not take legal preparations, your business could take a substantial hit. Below, our blog outlines several strategies that you can use to safeguard your business interests in the event of a divorce.
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements: If your business was created before a marriage, protect it by naming it as separate property in a prenuptial agreement. Similarly, you can protect a business that was created after a marriage through the use of a postnuptial agreement. “Postnups” have the greatest chance of success when written well before a divorce is ever on the horizon. These agreements can state early on what portion of a business if any a spouse may be able to claim upon divorce.
- Give up other assets: The laws in California dictate that the total value of assets received by divorcing spouses must be equal. As the owner of a company, you may be able to retain control of your business if your spouse receives equal compensation through other assets. You may consider sacrificing your claim to any sizable investment, retirement, or insurance accounts in exchange for your business assets.
- Separate business and personal finances: While assets that were acquired or created before a marriage are typically considered separate property, investing marital assets into an otherwise separate business, which is regarded as commingling assets, can cause complications. separate business (this is called co-mingling assets) can introduce complications. For example, if a business owner were to use shared income to purchase company supplies, a spouse can claim that part of the business has undergone transmutation by becoming community property. Maintaining complete and accurate records of all business-related transactions can help to substantiate your claims in the courtroom.
Help for Business Owners Working through Divorce
When it comes to protecting your business interests in a divorce, it pays to take legal action as soon as possible. If you are currently working through or anticipating the end of a marriage, do not waste any time in contacting Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC.
Our Southern California divorce attorneys have substantial experience representing clients in high-asset divorce and understand the unique problems you may face as a business owner.
Call (855) 939-9111 and schedule a free phone consultation to get more than 300 years of collective experience in your corner.