You know that some property is going to have to be divided up during your divorce, but what about your business? You worked hard to build it, so why should your spouse get a piece of it if they did nothing? Unfortunately, there are some situations in which your spouse is going to be entitled to a part of that business or its value. Fighting for your business in a divorce can be tough, but our high net worth divorce attorneys in Bergen County, NJ are ready to help you pursue the best possible outcome.
When is a Spouse Entitled to Part of a Business?
A spouse can be entitled to a part of your business if the court considers it marital property. All marital property, which includes assets and debts, has to be split up equitably when a couple files for divorce in New Jersey. The court could determine that your spouse is entitled to part of your business when:
- You and your spouse both had a hand in establishing the business during your marriage
- Your spouse had a significant role working with you or for you
- You used marital assets to maintain the company at some point
In any of these situations, your firm is almost certain to be considered marital property. A business could also be considered marital property if it was established before your marriage, but grew in value while you were married.
Should I Sign a Prenuptial Agreement to Protect My Business?
Drafting a prenuptial agreement that determines exactly what happens to your business can be the best way to protect it. Prenups get a bad rep, but these documents are actually great for both parties. It clearly outlines what will happen to certain assets in the event of a divorce. This can cut down on fighting and stress, not to mention costs, in divorce proceedings later.
This is really only an option if your company was established before you got married. If you started a company while you were married, it would be difficult to cover a future business with a prenuptial agreement.
How Can My Company Be Split Up in a Divorce?
If your spouse is found to be entitled to part of your business and its assets, then there are usually a few options available to you. First, the value of your company must be determined. Then your spouse can:
- Receive a share of your company and continue earning money from it
- Let you keep the business while receiving marital assets equal in value to their stake in your company
- Ask for the business to be sold and for profits to be split
Talk to Our Legal Team
If you want to protect your assets in a divorce, contacting experienced divorce attorneys is a necessity. Reach out to Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark and schedule a consultation today. We would be happy to tell you more about how we can be of assistance in this difficult time.