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No prenup? How to protect your business interests in a divorce

In order to succeed in the world of entrepreneurship, you had to put in significant hours of work. Your years of personal sacrifice and financial investment may be finally paying off, and your business may be enjoying growth and success. However, a divorce may threaten your North Dakota small business, and you understand how important it is to protect your company's financial interests at this time.

Many business owners find great benefit in drafting a prenuptial agreement. This document can allow you to decide how to handle the division of marital property in the event of a divorce, which can help you avoid contentious legal battles over business assets. However, if you do not have a prenuptial agreement, how can you shield your business in the event of a divorce?

Practical divorce tips for business owners

The division of marital property can be a complex process, especially if there is disagreement over the two spouses over who should get what. Correctly handling business assets in divorce is not easy, and your goal may be to protect the continued operations for your business and maintain its current value. To protect your company and your own interests, the following tips may be helpful before and during divorce: 

  • Take steps to ensure that all documents designate you as the sole owner of the company.
  • Keep all documents that outline where the capital came from to start your business – whether it was your own separate assets or joint assets.
  • Take care not to commingle your personal and business assets and expenses. This can reduce financial scrutiny during divorce.
  • If your spouse works for your business, pay him or her rate based on fair market value.
  • Give yourself a salary also based on reasonable market value for your line of work and type of business you run.
  • Take care to keep careful records of all cash transactions.

These are simple steps that can make it easier to handle your business in a divorce and reduce the chance of complications. Business assets are complex, and it is helpful to seek experienced guidance when fighting to keep your business intact.

Whether you will go to court or you will settle your divorce disputes around the negotiating table, you do not have to walk through it alone. A complete evaluation of your case can help you understand your options and proceed with the an appropriate strategy that allows you to protect your small business after your marriage is over.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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