Divorce by itself by itself is hard enough, but many entrepreneurs find it doubly frightening because of the prospect of losing the business they worked so hard to build. However, protecting one’s business can be fairly simple, if one understands how divorce judges think. Many judges consider a stable business as an important aspect of a divorce, because this may be the source for child support and spousal maintenance payments, so it may not be as vulnerable as an entrepreneur might think.
It is crucial in a divorce proceeding not to attempt to conceal assets or debts. An accurate valuation of the marital estate is a vital part of making sure the final settlement is fair to all parties.
A business’s structure will play a large role in how the court considers it as part of the marital assets. If the business was started after separation or before the marriage, it may not play as large a role in the court’s evaluation as if the business was launched as a joint or single venture while married. Any agreements derived during the marriage or divorce process must be included in a court order to be legally binding.
An attorney might look at the total marital assets when beginning a divorce case. This is to ensure that the valuation is accurate and that asset distribution is accomplished in accordance with state law. The attorney may offer a settlement to the other spouse’s counsel, represent the client before the court, prepare documents and negotiate matters such as child support, spousal maintenance, debt and asset allocation for presentation to the parties and ultimately the court.