The end of a marriage requires many steps. From child support to spousal maintenance, the process is emotionally taxing and legally complex. When one or both spouses own a small business, the division of property becomes particularly contentious.
Countless couples are waiting longer to get married, as opposed to prior generations. Being older often means more assets and property that require a certain amount of protection that a prenuptial agreement can provide.
A valuable asset at stake
Out of all the assets you own, your small business is perhaps the most important, likely representing years of “sweat equity” that deserves significant protections. Divorce only creates distractions when it comes to the operations and growth of the enterprise.
New relationships that blossom into engagements and marriage proposals require a great deal of discussions on a variety of topics. While challenging, proactively protecting business interests and investments should be on the list of things to discuss before walking down the aisle. Diligence and dedication went into establishing it. The prospect of marriage should make those efforts a priority.
Ohio law considers all assets gained during the marriage to be marital property to be divided equitably, not equally, unless a prenuptial agreement exists. It represents the most efficient and least expensive way to protect a small business. The only complexity comes in when both spouses each own separate companies.
Prenups are binding contracts that specify what happens to income, assets, and property should the marriage end or a spouse dies. The length of time is the ceremony’s date to the day of marriage termination. In some cases, time separated but still legally wed is considered.
Divorce is complicated, regardless of the age of the couple and how long their marriage lasts. Help from a skilled family law attorney can ease the process and help start a new chapter in life with a sense of financial stability.