Building up a successful business can take years. So the last thing you want to do is give part of it away after a short-lived marriage.
What does Texas law say about it?
Texas divides things into community property, which you must divide equitably, and separate property, which remains with one person when the couple divorce.
The state considers income either person generates during the marriage as community property. So if you built your business up during your marriage or only started it once you were married, it will be hard to negate your spouse a share.
If you started your company while still single, it is a little easier to keep most of it. A court may still consider the growth acquired during the marriage as subject to division. It is why so many business owners use pre-nuptial agreements to ensure their business is not subjected to division in a divorce.
What other factors will a court consider?
They will look at how your spouse contributed to the business. If part of your spouse’s charms were their uncanny marketing ability or little black book of contacts, a court might find they played a significant role in the company’s success and award them a greater share.
Even if they never set foot in your office, they could still claim to have contributed to the company’s success. For example, by ensuring you had a hot plate of food on the table when you came home late at night to find the kids already in bed with their homework done.
While a court may decide your spouse deserves a certain percentage of your business, that does not mean you have to give it to them. If you can barter keeping the whole business for giving them a greater share of other assets, you may be able to walk away with your company intact even though your family is not.
There are many options on the table when dividing property in a divorce. Get help to understand the likely outcomes, your options and your rights.