A separation could be the stickiest legal predicament that a business owner can ever be in. For one, there is the problem of the family and for the other; there is the problem of the business and how it survives the property settlement. As much as the couple may have had an amicable separation, it is important to know the right ways to protect your business. Nobody is wishing for it to happen but just in case that it does, what can you do to protect your business in case of a nasty divorce?
There are three important steps when separating:
- Hire a good lawyer. A good lawyer can get you towards getting that peace of mind that you need. The best way to protect your business is to be ahead of the other party and the only way that you can do so is to make sure that you have someone by your side who knows the way. It is the best way of protecting your assets.
- Make a list of the assets that are exclusively yours. You need to know your property entitlements and everything that the other party is entitled to. The law provides that the following are your property entitlements:
- The assets that you have before the relationship. All of these assets include the property, any business, and investments. These would all belong to you since before the relationship, they already belonged to you.
- The net value of the assets that you have during the partnerships – this would include the houses, the shares, and the cars that you may have acquired during the pendency of the relationship.
- Finally, the courts will determine your contributions during the course of the relationship. This would include the following:
- Your direct financial contributions – this would include a lot of things such as your wage, payments that you earned off properties or improvements made to properties, all interests earned by your own investment; and
- Your indirect financial contributions – this would include things that you did not really work on such as gifts, inheritances or the regular payment of household expenses.
3. Keep calm during the proceedings. The worse thing that you can do is to lose your business focus during the proceedings. Hence, you need to keep in mind that keeping calm during the proceedings would allow you to get ahead of the problem and face it when it is right in front of you; this is the only way that you can make the right decisions when you need to.
A lawyer can help you get through the tough times by making sure that you can have at least your business intact. To help you collect the financial information required we have developed a checklist when separating, you can obtain a copy by emailing us at [email protected]