3 ways to protect your business during a divorce

A divorce is not a simple process. You will need to work with your future ex-spouse to agree on co-parenting duties and divide up your joint property. If you are a small business owner, the settlement could affect your personal wealth and future earnings.

Ideally, you will have a prenuptial or postnuptial document in place or a buy-sell agreement that outlines what happens if either person wants to dissolve the business partnership. If none of these documents are in place when you decide to divorce, here are three options.

1. Stay in business together

If your divorce is amicable, and you want to keep running the company together, you can. Develop a buy-sell agreement in case you need it in the future and continue running the business as usual.

2. Divide the profits of a sale

As you divide up the joint property, have the business valuated, and start looking for buyers. When you find a seller and complete the transaction, you will split any profit from the sale according to the details outlined in your settlement agreement.

3. Buy out your spouse

You may decide you want to buy your spouse out of the company. This option will also require a valuation, and the details will be part of your settlement agreement.

Be honest with yourself about what you want for the business. If it is a business you owned before your marriage, it may be an easy decision to buy out your partner. If you built it together, it might not be that simple. Whatever you decide, make sure you have the correct paperwork in place for the future.