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How business owners can prepare for divorce

When a Dallas couple does well in business, they will often have difficulties in divorce. That is because it can be difficult to divide significant assets such as a business between the spouses when the end of a marriage arrives.

A family law attorney writes that couples who are long-time business owners or start-up entrepreneurs should develop plans to protect their businesses if their marriages end in divorce.

She writes that the first thing to take care of in a business-protection plan is a heart-to-heart conversation before the wedding bells chime. The conversation can be part of a prenuptial agreement that will describe what is to happen to your business in a divorce.

If you own a business before your marriage, enter into a business arrangement after your marriage, or expect to acquire and interest or start up a business after the wedding ceremony, a prenuptial can protect the hard work and financial investments you have made.

The attorney notes that a prenuptial should be negotiated with each party having their own lawyer experienced in prenuptial preparation. The agreement can lay out in writing whether the business is to be a joint venture, community property, kept as separate property and how income and assets will be divided in the event of divorce.

Clearly, the negotiation of a prenup while wedding plans are being drawn up can be awkward. But the benefits of having a clear plan far outweigh the negatives, the attorney writes.

She notes that she has had clients who avoided the awkward prenup negotiations only to find themselves embroiled in expensive, difficult divorce litigation over their business; sometimes even unable to run the business while a court considers property division arguments.

That single benefit can make the temporary unease of a prenuptial well worth the trouble.

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