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Protecting business interests during divorce

Divorce rates are still relatively high. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. This process can be difficult to navigate, as each spouse may see the division of marital property and assets very differently. For those in New York who own their own business, there may be very valid concerns about how to protect that business from the effects of divorce.

Whether a business was started before or after the marriage has taken place, there are actually a number of things that business owners can do to protect their company in the event of divorce. One of the first things one might consider is filing a pre- or postnuptial agreement. In this type of document, it is possible to identify the business as separate property.

After a business is defined as separate property, it would be a good idea to ensure all aspects of the business remain that way. A big part of this involves keeping personal and business finances separate. When money gets commingled, it can be difficult to argue the business is, in fact, separate from marital property.

New York business owners who do not take the steps necessary to protect their company from the effects of divorce may feel hard hit if a divorce actually becomes a reality. A family law attorney can help in a number of ways; first and foremost, by creating pre- or postnuptial agreements if desired. Those who do mix business and family life can still negotiate a divorce settlement that keeps their business interests in mind. However, negotiating terms that both parties feel is fair can take more time and could affect the company's productivity and bottom-line in the long-run.

Source:, "10 Rules All Entrepreneurs Must Follow to Divorce-Proof Their Business Financially", Zach Schleien, Dec. 27, 2014

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