If you are getting a divorce, you are most likely wondering what will happen with all your hard-earned assets. You are also probably going through a lot emotionally, as divorce can is generally a very stressful process. What’s worse, if you are in a contested divorce and own a business with your spouse, there is a very good chance you’re worried about how your business will be divided, if at all. Surely you would prefer avoiding the litigation process, but unfortunately, this is not always possible. If you believe the business of which you are rightfully entitled is on the line, here are some of the questions you may have regarding the legal process moving forward:
What is exempt property?
Certain property is considered marital property, which means it is subject to the equitable distribution process. Unfortunately, “equitable” does not always mean “equal.” Generally, “equitable” is loosely defined as what the court determines is a fair and just division, given your particular situation. However, exempt property usually is not divided in the equitable distribution process. Some of the most common types of generally exempt property are as follows:
- Property acquired before the marriage
- Assets designated as exempt in a written agreement
How will they value my business?
Financial experts will exhaustively examine your business records, and sometimes, the court may even mandate in an inquiry into your business expenses and practices. If you provide the court with untrue or inaccurate information, there is a very good chance you will open yourself up to investigation by the IRS. This is every business’s worst nightmare.
Can I protect my business from a divorce?
Fortunately, you have several options for protecting your business from a potential divorce. You may draft a shareholder agreement with your spouse, which will assign ownership, detail how each party’s interest in the company is valued, and limit the transfer of ownership to another party. You may also draft a prenuptial agreement with your spouse-to-be if you are not yet married. In a prenuptial agreement, you can cite any wishes you or your spouse have for your business if you divorce or one of you should pass on unexpectedly. If you are already married, you may draft a postnuptial agreement, which serves the same function as a prenuptial agreement, only it is drafted after marriage.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
We understand that those getting a divorce most likely have several questions. Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. If you are getting a divorce or have any other questions regarding divorce-related matters, please do not hesitate to contact our firm for a consultation today.