During a divorce, business owners should employ all means necessary to keep their enterprise running smoothly. Divorce is something no one plans for, but it’s important to prepare your company for it as soon as possible.
In the event that efforts to mediate a dispute outside of court are unsuccessful, you may consult with a Columbus divorce attorney about the various legal options.
If you are considering divorce, these measures may save your company.
When it comes to your company, do you and your spouse each have equal ownership, or does your partner have a claim to a share? If you’re getting a divorce in Ohio, you’ll need to know that your business is deemed property and will be divided according to Ohio’s equitable distribution laws. If this is the case, the court will decide how to divide your marital and separate property.
A business started during a marriage or with marital resources is considered community property. The following are examples of when your firm would be deemed a separate asset:
- Because of your family’s generosity, you’ve been handed the reins to the company.
- Your share of the company was given to you as a gift.
- You funded the company with money from a different account of your own.
A postnuptial or prenuptial agreement states that your spouse will receive no assets from the marriage in the event of a divorce.
Having established who owns what in the firm, you and your divorce lawyer may move forward with making the appropriate plans to ensure that you retain full ownership of the company. What you can do is as follows.
Obtain a Company Evaluation
You should ask your lawyer for referrals to reputable valuation firms so you can find out how much your business is worth.
Always Maintain Individual Bank Accounts
Maintain a streamlined accounting system as you work toward a business valuation. It’s important to keep business finances distinct from those of you and your spouse. Income from a job, for example, can be considered marital property if it isn’t kept in a separate account.
Keep Work and Home Life Apart
If you want to be the only owner, you should keep your spouse out of the business. In the event of a divorce, the court may consider any contributions made by either party to the business, whether in the form of time or money, to be community property anxnr.