Divorce comes with many complications, regardless of who the spouses are and the nature of their assets. However, business owners who choose to divorce must handle a host of potential issues that others may never consider. Unless the owner took precautions and protected the business with a prenuptial agreement, then the business may qualify as marital property.
For business owners getting a divorce in Texas, the potential complications are even greater. Texas uses community property guidelines to determine how a couple divides their property, and each spouse must typically receive an equal portion of each asset’s value. This means that spouses must divide assets (or liabilities) right down the middle, instead of a more flexible arrangement that other states may offer.
If you own a business and face divorce in Texas, you must identify your priorities in the divorce as soon as possible. Navigating your divorce successfully depends on the strength of your legal strategy. Building a strategy is difficult until you understand the assets or privileges that matter to you and those that do not. Without a strong strategy, it is difficult or impossible to keep your rights protected while achieving your divorce goals.
Do you want to save the business?
If your business qualifies as property that you and your spouse must divide, you need to decide whether or not saving the business is a priority. One factor to keep in mind is that both assets and liabilities count as marital property. If your business is upside down in debt, you may not want to fight to keep it.
If you do choose to keep the business, then you need to know exactly what you are willing to sacrifice and what it is worth.
The true value of the business
Although businesses are property just like a car or tract of land, they are much more complicated. In order to fully understand the value of your business, you probably need to have it undergo a professional valuation. This process looks at all facets of the business as a whole to help you understand exactly what it is worth so that you can negotiate with confidence.
If your spouse claims part of the business’s value and you do not want to sell it or dissolve it, you may need to offer them other assets to make up the difference. If this is not a viable option, then you may need to consider a structured payment plan to bridge the gap.
Protect your rights right now
The longer that you wait to begin building your divorce strategy, the fewer options you have. In real terms, waiting to begin building protections and identifying your goals may cost you time and money that you do not have to lose. Be sure to use high-quality legal resources and guidance as you develop your strategy and plan for the next season.