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What will happen to my business in divorce?

If you run your own business, you’ve likely spent a lot of hours to build it and ensure it succeeds. You could have seen it grow over the years, adding more employees and greater operations. However, now you are facing a divorce and don’t know how that will impact your business. Will your spouse automatically get half your business’ worth?

Dividing assets in Georgia

Georgia is a state that follows equitable division of property in divorce. This means that any assets a couple has, including business assets, are divided in a fair and equitable manner. That often means you and your spouse won’t split your assets 50-50.

If you established your business during your marriage, you may need to split its assets with your spouse. However, you can protect your business from divorce.

Protecting a business from divorce

The best ways to protect your business in a divorce include the following:

  1. Having a prenuptial agreement that protects your business assets
  2. Having a postnuptial agreement that gives your spouse a certain amount of the assets at a certain date, protecting future assets you may gain through your business
  3. Establishing a trust as the ownership of your business
  4. Having a partnership agreement that protects shareholders or partners in divorce

You also can protect your business assets in divorce by paying yourself a competitive wage. If you plow all your business profits back into your business and don’t pay yourself fairly, your spouse can claim your family suffered as a result. That could lead to your spouse getting a greater percentage of your business assets. Finally, keeping your business funds separate from your personal finances is important if you want to minimize the impact a divorce can have on your business.

Business owners facing divorce need to work closely an experienced family law attorney. You want to ensure you do all you can to avoid having a divorce cost you ownership of your business or greatly hurt your business’ bottom line.

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