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Business owners and divorce

Business owners in Texas and around the country often invest a great deal of time and money into their companies. When an owner finds himself or herself faced with a divorce, the future of the business is often a significant concern.

When a couple divorces, every aspect of their lives is subject to scrutiny. This includes finances, and a business is considered an asset when it comes to negotiating a monetary settlement. One of the best ways to protect a business in a divorce is to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that clearly defines what will happen to a business and its assets should a marriage come to an end.

In situations where a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement does not exist, business owners can still take steps to protect their companies. This might include being particularly scrupulous in keeping personal and business assets separate. In established businesses, this is probably already a practice, but it can be particularly important if someone is operating a small, home-based or startup company.

Another consideration is the documentation of all business transactions. In a high-asset divorce, a spouse may decide to hire a forensic accountant to review business accounts. Innocent errors or poorly documented expenditures may be considered evidence that the spouse who owns the business is trying to hide funds.

If a business owner knows that his or her marriage is in trouble, he or she may want to be proactive and have an accountant review the books to ensure that nothing will set off red flags during the divorce discovery process.

Individuals who are going through a divorce may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the client's circumstances and make recommendations regarding asset division and spousal support, particularly if one of the spouses is a business owner.

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