A previous post on this blog talked about how divorce or legal separation, or even the informal separation of an unmarried couple, can have a profound effect on a Dayton, Ohio, resident's business.
In fact, sometimes a breakup in one's domestic life can spill over and also ruin a person's small business opportunity or even that person's ability to continue to operate a family business that had been running smoothly for a long time, even for generations. This is one reason our law office is dedicated to helping people protect their business assets during marital property division or other related family law disputes.
There are legal steps that a person can take upfront to protect her business assets. For instance, a business owner should consider a prenuptial agreement, which may also be referred to as a premarital agreement, if she owns a business. Among other provisions, the prenuptial agreement can specify that she keeps her business assets outright in the event of a divorce.
Likewise, a business owner may at the corporate level be able to enter agreements that would limit his ability to transfer shares in the business to a former spouse, at least not without the consent of the other owners. In order to protect at least some of his interest, a business owner should also, at a minimum, be certain to draw a salary from the business. His salary should be consistent with the prevailing market for his role in the business's operations.
Once a divorce or separation has begun, a family law attorney can help a business owner negotiate a property division that does not involve having to sell the business. For instance, the owner may be able to trade other property for her interest in the business, or she may have to agree to pay off her spouse's share over time.