You’re definitely not the first Texas business owner to file for divorce, and no doubt, you will not be the last. However, no two situations are exactly the same; therefore, your concerns regarding asset and property division may be different from another person’s. It’s understandable that one of your highest priorities might be to protect your business. After all, it took you years to create, launch and build a successful company.
The last thing you want to do is to watch it all go to ruin because your marriage is no longer working. There are business resources that may be of benefit to someone in your situation, and there are also family law advocates who can provide legal clarification and guidance as to how best to proceed to protect your bottom line and obtain a fair and agreeable settlement.
Business protection tips in divorce
Business issues in divorce can be very complex. Texas happens to be one of only nine community property states in the nation, meaning all marital property is typically split 50/50 in divorce, in the absence of evidence to justify a disproportionate division of the community estate. The following list includes practical ways you may be able to protect your business:
- Trade assets: Insofar as splitting property 50/50 goes, you obviously can’t split a physical house, vehicle or business in two. The court refers to the value of such property when determining property division issues in divorce. Therefore, if you have your heart set on retaining full ownership of your business assets, you may be able to trade other valued assets with your spouse instead, but the actual valuation of the business is a typical source of conflict in divorce.
- Purchase your spouse’s interests: Once you have secured a proper business valuation, you may be able to strike a deal with your spouse to allow you to make payments to purchase his or her shares in your business over time.
- Existing contracts: If you signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, this may take care of your business-related concerns, providing you included your business as a separately owned asset in your agreement.
Various other factors may impact your particular business asset situation, such as whether your spouse plays an active role in your business. The court may also take into account any funding which your spouse has provided to keep your business going during your marriage and any other reimbursement claims and business debt which may exist. There are usually options available to overcome these and other business-related problems in divorce.
Who can help?
Rather than trying to go it alone in court, most Texas business owners turn to a Board-certified Family Law expert experienced family law attorney for support, especially when a particularly important legal issue or asset problem arises.