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What will happen to my business in the divorce?

Starting up a new business takes a toll on a person's health and can eventually even affect their marriage. While a Missouri resident is working hard to start up their business, their spouse may be on the way out of their marriage, leaving the other person confused, emotionally distraught and financially vulnerable. With between 40 and 50 percent of all first marriages ending in divorce in the country, the end of a marriage is not so out of the question that one should not take precautions to protect the business they have worked so hard to create.

If a divorce seems imminent, then one of the most important steps spouses should take is keeping good records and keeping the family finances separate from the business ones. This means not to borrow from the family account to pay for the business fuel. In addition to this, it might be beneficial to pay oneself a good salary from the onset-the more assets available, the more there are to split.

In divorce settlements, generally the couple's total assets are added up and then sold. The individual who built up the business should consider forfeiting other assets in favor of retaining 100 percent ownership of the business. Similarly, getting an outside third-party to evaluate the business and then review the figure is beneficial for everyone involved and ensures everyone is treated fairly. If capital is needed to make payments to a spouse over time, it might make sense to sell a minority stake in the business to employees and raise capital in this way.

Divvying up business assets in a high asset divorce is difficult, especially since so much is at stake. Either a person stands to lose their hard-earned business or fears they will end up becoming their ex's business partner. Getting an experienced attorney on one's side for sound property division advice can prove beneficial in the long run.

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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