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Divorces for entrepreneurs

When starting the divorce process, it is natural for New York entrepreneurs to be concerned about the well-being of their business. Taking some proactive steps to ensure their business is protected can help give peace of mind during this difficult time. Just like a business plan, entrepreneurs should have a plan in place for the divorce to make the transition from married to single life as smooth as possible.

The first step is to know and understand all personal and professional assets. If the other spouse has an ownership stake in the business or has contributed to its success in other ways, this affects how the business is considered in the valuation of the marital estate. Next is to consider the endgame, the time after the divorce is concluded. What will the parties do with the company? If it's a jointly owned venture, will either or both want to continue?

Divorcing entrepreneurs should have a good team of consultants to protect their interests, especially in a contested divorce. Independent advisers can help avoid many of the typical legal pitfalls of divorcing entrepreneurs, especially if the spouse disagrees on estate valuation. A divorce doesn't have to cost the business, but being flexible and knowing when to negotiate and when to stand firm can help entrepreneurs craft a fair and equitable divorce settlement that safeguards the welfare of their company.

An attorney representing a client who is filing for divorce may start by examining the total value of the marital estate, including business holdings, real estate, art, personal and professional debts and assets. The attorney may then begin property settlement negotiations on the client's behalf in an attempt to reach an agreement that can be then submitted to the court for its approval.

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