There is no determining what a spouse will try to take in a divorce. Most Minnesotans may be concerned about a husband or wife laying claim to the marital home, a car or retirement accounts, but for business owners, there is a fear that a divorcing spouse will try to claim part of the business as his or her own. If a business owner works with an experienced family law attorney, he or she can protect most assets through a prenuptial agreement.
Minnesota law requires that prenuptial agreements be fair when they are created and when they are executed, and what could be fairer than leaving a marriage with the assets you entered with? Someone who was the sole owner of a business at the time of his or her marriage should not be expected to turn over half of an ownership interest or profits to his or her partner. Working out a prenuptial agreement before marriage, however, can protect those assets and interests from a potentially overreaching spouse.
Another way to protect business interests is to try and work through a divorce settlement amicably. If you are willing to concede some issues, your spouse might be willing to leave your business interests alone. This type of arrangement works best with no-fault divorce filings, however, because the parties are not sharing embarrassing or personal information with the court. While an amicable divorce is ideal, there is no guarantee that a spouse will not make a move on your business.
One of the best ways to protect your assets, including your business assets, before you get married is to consult a family law attorney and create a prenuptial agreement.
Source: Reuters, “Divorce has ‘immense’ impact on small businesses,” Deborah L. Cohen,” Sept. 28, 2011