Gantt Family Law
Navigating Divorce as a Business Owner: Strategies for Separation While Protecting Your Assets
Updated: Feb 28
For business owners, navigating the dissolution of a marriage is complicated and emotionally charged. You must manage not only your own emotions but also ensure that the interests of your business—and associated assets—are protected.
As a family law firm helping countless clients cope with divorce, we understand these challenges firsthand and are here to provide guidance so you can reach an equitable divorce settlement without sacrificing key elements of your hard work. In this blog post, we’ll discuss strategies for negotiating a successful divorce while safeguarding years of investment in both your marriage and business.
Protect your business from devaluation
When a business owner is involved in a divorce, it's important to take steps to protect the business from devaluation. This can be done in a number of ways, including ensuring that the business is not used as collateral for any loans or other financial obligations taken on by either spouse during the divorce proceedings.
It's also important to ensure that neither spouse attempts to damage the other's relationship with the business or interfere with the other's ability to run the business.
In North Carolina, you can request a court order to prevent a spouse from devaluing their business. This can include preventing a spouse from selling assets or cutting services without the other’s knowledge. This will ensure that both parties remain in control of their respective business interests and won’t suffer financial losses due to the other’s actions.
Understand the different ways your business will be affected by divorce.
When a couple decides to get a divorce, it can have a ripple effect on their businesses. In many cases, the divorce will mean one spouse is no longer involved in the business. This can lead to changes in management, ownership and even the day-to-day operations of the business.
In some cases, the court may distribute business assets in an equitable manner to both spouses in a divorce settlement.
In other cases, the court may order that one spouse retain ownership of the business and award a sum of money to the other spouse as compensation for their stake in the business. This can be done through a lump-sum payment or ongoing payments over time.
Negotiate a divorce settlement that ensures the business survives
In any divorce, the two parties involved will have to negotiate a settlement that meets their needs. This is especially important when there is a family business involved, as the future of the business needs to be considered. If the divorce is contentious, it can be difficult to come to an agreement that both parties are happy with.
In order for a business to survive a divorce, both parties need to be willing to compromise. The spouse who is not responsible for running the business will likely want to liquidate or sell their interest in the company. The spouse who is responsible for running the business may want to keep it running and try to maintain control of it. In some cases, the two spouses can agree to keep the business running and share control of it.
No matter what arrangement is made, both parties need to be aware of the potential consequences. If one spouse wants to liquidate their interest in the company, but the company doesn't have the financial position to buy them out, it could lead to financial stress and possibly the dissolution of the business.
It is important for both spouses to have an attorney representing them during these negotiations. An attorney can help guide them through the process and make sure that their interests are protected.
Avoid rash decisions that could jeopardize the business
Divorce can be a complex and emotional process, and if you're not careful, it can jeopardize the future of your business.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Don't make rash decisions. Divorce is a major life change, and it's important to take your time and make sure you're making the right decisions. Rushing into things could lead to mistakes that could have serious consequences for your business.
2. Keep things civil. Conflict only damages the business.
3. Consult with an attorney. Divorcing business owners should seek advice. Trying to DIY a divorce when you own complicated assets like a business could be a recipe for disaster.
4. Consider mediation. If you and your ex-spouse can't agree on anything, mediation may be a good option. Mediation allows both sides to come to an agreement through a neutral third party. This can be helpful in preserving relationships with your ex-spouse and minimizing the damage to your business.
Seek a family law attorney with business experience
When it comes to getting a divorce, having an attorney with business experience can be incredibly helpful. This is because a business-minded attorney will be able to help you through the process in a way that minimizes the financial impact of the divorce. They will also be able to help you protect your assets and make sure that you are treated fairly in the divorce settlement.
Gantt Family Law in Raleigh, NC is a great place to start looking for an experienced family law attorney with business experience in Wake County. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of North Carolina's divorce laws and can help you navigate through the complexities of dividing marital property, including a family business. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you protect your interests in the divorce.