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How can I keep my business in a divorce?

Some couples stay together for the kids, thinking misguidedly that living with two unhappy parents is better than growing up with divorced parents. But other couples remain in loveless unions because they worry their co-owned business might take too big of a hit in a divorce and wind up failing.

It's a valid concern. Failing to secure the future solvency of your business can lead to post-divorce bankruptcy. No one wants that, but this doesn't mean that you can't pull the escape hatch on a bad marriage — just that you need to plan for the exit of your business as well.

If it's too late for a prenup, consider asking your spouse to sign a postnuptial agreement detailing the fate of the business in case of divorce. If that goes over like a lead balloon, your next option might be to draft a buy-sell agreement with a clear path to ownership of the business.

You should also hire an expert to accurately value your business. Choosing one individual or firm to do this can save both spouses a lot of money, as these services are expensive but necessary.

A divorce can adversely affect a business if the parties refuse to work together for the best outcome. Understand that it might not be possible for both parties to continue working for your company. Even if you agree to split ownership in the company, it is usually a bad idea when divorced spouses have to co-manage the day-to-day operations of the business.

Clarify to your Seymour family law attorney what you hope to take away from your divorce regarding your business. They can help you devise a strategy that will provide a path to success after your divorce is finalized.

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