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Protecting your sole proprietor business in divorce

Your business is your baby. You poured long days and sleepless nights into its creation and growth. You fostered and nurtured it, spending resources you may not have had at the time, but believed so greatly that your business would be a success that you took the financial risk anyways. It even seem as if your spouse had very little to do with your success, but under Texas' marital community property laws, he or she will be entitled to half the ownership or half the value in a property agreement. If you are facing that concern, there are certain steps you can take in the event you are considering divorce, or are concerned it may be a possibility in the future. 

How divorce impacts your business

If you are a small business owner and are in the middle of a divorce, you probably never anticipated that your ex-spouse would become your business partner. But this is just one of the scenarios that could happen if you didn't take preemptive steps to protect your business at its conception.

Giving up half of your business to your spouse doesn't always mean they become your business partner. An alternative to this might mean liquidating your business and splitting up the proceeds, though this may be unlikely if you have a successful business that takes care of family bills.

It isn't too late

If you are worried that it is too late for you to do anything to protect your business, you have addtional options. If your business started before or after your and your spouse got married, you can still protect it by doing the following:

  1. Get a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Getting a prenup prior to marriage or a postnup during marriage can protect your property and business in case of a divorce. Of course, you will need proper and detailed documentation so that the contents are clearly expressed.

  2. Place your business in a living trust. A trust is a third-party legal entity that can protect your business assets and can help them from being divided.

  3. Be on good terms with your ex-spouse. Sometimes becoming business partners is unavoidable. That's why it's important to have a healthy business relationship with your ex-spouse and keep interactions amiable so that your business can continue on without a hitch.

Your business is one of your most important assets. Walking blindly into this kind of situation can spell disaster for your livelihood. With this in mind, it's imperative to find an experienced family law attorney that can help you protect the business you worked so hard to develop.

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