Protecting Your Most Important Asset: Your Business
If you have a business, it is probably the most valuable asset you own. However, there are several things you may be doing that would put that asset at risk in the event of a future divorce.
If you are concerned about the effect of divorce on your business, attorney Andrew A. Bokser can explain the law and how it is likely to apply in your case. With offices in Brooklyn and Garden City, he represents self-employed people, including professionals such as doctors and lawyers who own their own businesses, throughout the New York City area, including Nassau and Suffolk counties.
For more information about valuing a business for divorce, contact us online.
Isn’t My Business Separate Property?
Assets you owned before your marriage are often classified as separate property in New York for the purposes of property distribution, and thus they do not have to be divided with your spouse in most cases. However, there are exceptions to this rule.
If your spouse contributed to the running of the business during your marriage, then he or she may be entitled to a portion of the business. The more involved in your business your spouse was, the bigger that percentage may be. If you have partners in your business, then your spouse would own a percentage of your share.
Determining what a percentage of your business is worth can be a contentious and expensive process. Your spouse’s lawyer will likely hire a business valuation expert. That expert’s valuation may be different from your own.
What Can I Do To Protect My Business?
Before your marriage, you can protect your business interests through a prenuptial agreement. After your marriage, you and your spouse may enter into a postnuptial agreement to keep marital assets and your business separate.
It’s always important to keep thorough records, and you need to understand that if your spouse is a participant in your business, it will increase that partner’s share of the business. These actions are especially important if your divorce is one with significant assets, which are often the most complex of cases. Our attorney is highly experienced with these types of divorce cases and can help you.
If you think your marriage may fail, then you should speak to an experienced lawyer. If you are contemplating divorce, you may want to decide if you should implement any business expansion plans until after your divorce.