When couples decide to get married, there are ways that they can split their assets and claim them as their own. This is done in a prenuptial agreement. These agreements can allow spouses to keep their property separate and prevent future arguments. If you are a business owner, this can be useful in protecting your business.
If couples get divorced in the state of New Jersey, they face equitable distribution as a way to divide their assets. Equitable distribution means that the decision will be made to provide a fair and just division. It does not mean that the property will be divided equally among the two spouses. If the business happens to fall under the category of marital property, its value may factor into the allocation of the assets. The court will then have to come to a decision based on general guidelines. This can make your business in jeopardy since it will be out of your control.
Can I protect my business once I’m already married?
Once you are already married, you can decide to get a postnuptial agreement. This is the same concept as a prenuptial agreement; it is just done after the wedding ceremony. For this agreement, you will write down your assets and how they will be divided between you and your spouse. If the business is yours, you will list the business as one of your properties.
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What if my spouse and I both own the business?
When both spouses are joined in the business venture, there are still ways to protect the business from divorce litigation. As a couple, you can execute a shareholder agreement that will value each party’s interest in the company, detail ownership if a divorce were to occur and restrict the transfer of ownership. This can be a powerful tool in protecting the business to any kind of disruption of the marriage. The court will not be involved in the process with a shareholder agreement in place.
Businesses can be especially difficult to lose hold of due to the amount of hard work that was put into them. In order to best protect your business, it is important to consider your options for your current situation. There are ways to protect your business before and after a marriage is legalized.
Ross and Calandrillo, LLC is a full-service divorce, family, and real estate law firm located in Mountainside, New Jersey. For strong legal representation in all of your divorce or family law matters, contact Ross and Calandrillo, LLC to schedule a consultation.