Owning a small business is probably a big part of your identity and daily life. It may be your sole source of income and your most significant asset, other than your home.
Obviously, such valuable property will lead to claims and questions during a contentious Texas divorce. What will the end of your marriage mean for your ownership of the business?
Have you taken steps to protect the company?
Maybe you signed a prenuptial agreement before you got married. Perhaps you and your spouse signed a postnuptial agreement when you inherited the company or started it. If you have an agreement designating the business as your separate property, you may not need to worry about the business in your upcoming divorce.
If you don’t have an agreement with your spouse, you will need to look closely at the business. The date you started or acquired the company can affect whether it is marital or separate property in the eyes of the court. The same is true of what resources you used to fund or maintain the company. If you used marital assets or income, your spouse might have a partial claim to it.
What options have you considered?
Even if you don’t have a marital agreement addressing the business, you can still push for an outcome that involves you keeping the business you’ve built and your spouse receiving other property instead.
For many business owners going through a divorce, maintaining sole ownership of the business and ensuring they won’t wind up co-managing with their ex is a priority. Others may be okay with sharing some of the equity in the business but not the management of daily operations.
Considering your company, your spouse’s role in it and your financial circumstances can help you find the right approach for handling your business during divorce negotiations or litigation.