Most of us enter into a marriage hoping for a happily ever after, but studies show that about 39 percent of marriages in the United States end in a divorce. Uncoupling, especially when you’ve already been married, is one of the hardest and most painful things anyone can go through; and when you factor in a business and finances, it almost becomes a war zone.
If you have a substantial amount of financial and business assets and want to protect them during your divorce, here are some tips to help you achieve this.
Excellent legal counsel is also an investment
If you want to protect your assets and to ensure your children’s financial security, enlist the help of the best divorce lawyers you can find. Having excellent legal representation is also a worthwhile financial investment, especially since they can help you make guided decisions, provide you with all the information and resources you need to choose the right options. They can help ensure that you receive everything you deserve and everything you’re entitled to when the divorce proceedings are over.
If you and your spouse have finally decided to call it quits, your first order of business is to hire a good and reputable divorce lawyer.
Buy your ex’s share of the company
If you and your ex-spouse started the business together, and you two are civil and even friendly, consider if it’s worth working together still even as exes. It’s not impossible to run a business with your ex, especially if the divorce was amicable and you work well together as business partners.
However, if you find that this option is impossible, employ the services of a third-party valuation expert. People tend to be emotional when going through a divorce, which is why you need a neutral third-party to help you determine just how much you will need to have to pay your ex-spouse to buy out their potential share. Courts usually call for a valuation of businesses during divorce proceedings, and this neutral party will also help ensure the fairness and accuracy of the valuation provided by the court.
Buying out your ex’s share may seem like a monumental financial task, but there are plenty of ways to raise funds to be able to do so. One option is to sell a minority stake in your company by selling them to angel investors or your employees who are willing and capable of paying cash. This option may help provide you with enough time and money to keep your company afloat.
Forfeit other assets
If you have other properties like corporate stock, real estate, equipment, high-value items (like paintings and other works of arts), antiques, and other investments, consider forfeiting them to acquire enough funds to pay off your ex-spouse’s shares. Forfeiting some of your assets may help you get complete ownership of the company.
Prove that you built your assets by yourself
If you know that you were the one who worked to raise funds for the business, that you didn’t starve your family’s cash flow or use family funds to attend to your business; needs, then you need to gather all the paperwork and other pieces of evidence that can back up this claim. This is because your ex’s lawyers can use this as a basis for giving their client more entitlement to the company or the business. If you gave yourself a higher salary throughout the marriage or had other sources of income or side jobs, it can help prove that you had enough money to keep the business going and that it was through your efforts that the business was successful.
Take into consideration the amount of time and resources your ex spent on building up the business with you. The more resources, time, and energy they spent building it up with you, the more they might have a claim to the company.
Many of these steps can be done with the help of your legal counsel, who can help you go over the facts of your financial state, how much you’re entitled to get, and what your ex deserves to receive. Laws about the division of assets vary from state to state. But they mostly exist to help protect your interests and provide you and your kids with the ending you deserve. So you should consult with your lawyer and let them help you navigate this difficult and uncertain time. The experience doesn’t have to be painful; You don’t have to fight this match alone.