You’re in a business partnership with your best friend. You own a profitable business together and things are going great. That is until you find out your partner and his wife are getting a divorce.
Suddenly things seem as though they are falling apart. What will happen to your business? Will the ex-spouse get half ownership? Will you be forced to sell your business?
It’s understandable that you are concerned. After all, your partner’s wife is entitled to part of the business under Ohio divorce laws. The spouses may come to a decision on their own, but if they can’t come to an agreement, then it’s possible the court will have to decide.
So what does that mean for you? Here are some things you should do if your business partner is getting a divorce.
Learn How the Business is Involved
Was the business formed before the marriage? If so, then it may be considered separate property, but not if the partner’s spouse helped with the business. Did she work as an employee? Did she contribute money to the business? More than likely, she did, but if she was totally hands-off, then that might be good news in how the business is handled in a divorce.
Get a Business Valuation
It’s important that you know how much your business is worth so that if something does happen to it, you and the other partner are getting your fair share. A valuation is done by assessing all the assets and liabilities of the business. This may require a business if your business is well-established.
Understand Your Involvement
As a business partner, you may be required to provide some sort of testimony in the divorce case. Figure out how much your partner owns in the business and whether or not there are shares involved. If a valuation is listed, make sure it is correct. That way, you can get an idea of what your partner’s ex-spouse can expect to receive.
See if there is an Agreement in Place
A legal document can work to your advantage. Does your partner have a prenuptial agreement? If so, then it likely outlines what will happen to the business in the event of a divorce. Are there shares or retirement benefits involved? Does the other spouse even have a right to the business?
An agreement could also include a contingency plan. These agreements outline what will happen in the event that something unexpected like a divorce happens. The contingency plan should outline the rights of all the parties involved (including the spouses). In addition, everyone involved should sign the document to show they are in agreement.
Contact Us Today
If you own a business and aren’t married, then you don’t have to worry about divorce. But if your business partner is married and going through a divorce, then things can get complicated.
This can be an emotional time. What will happen to the business you worked so hard to grow? The Ohio business owner divorce lawyers at Lawrence Law Office can address your concerns and help you protect your business. To schedule a consultation, give us a call at 614-228-3664 or fill out the online form.