If you worked long and hard to build a business in Texas, you most likely understand how crucial it is to protect your interests. Like other business owners, you live a dual life. There's your professional side, and then there's your personal life. Building, launching and sustaining a business takes a lot of time. Many business owners will tell you they don't have much time for private lives, but most try to fit a little rest and relaxation into their schedules from time to time.
Perhaps you were able to do so and finally met that special someone. Maybe you were even lucky enough to find a partner who fully supports your entrepreneurial efforts and is willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary to help keep your business afloat. As the two of you consider marriage, you might want to think ahead and be as prepared as possible for any curve ball life may throw at you one, five or 10 years from now.
Precautionary measures help protect the bottom line
Some may tell you it's rather unromantic to think about the possibility of divorce when considering marriage. However, as a business owner, the bottom line is always on your mind, and you must do whatever it takes to protect it. Keeping the following in mind may provide peace of mind so you can focus on your wedding day and protect your business:
- Although most people enter marriage believing their unions will last a lifetime, statistics show this is not always possible. If divorce occurs, company interests may enter the equation when addressing the topic of marital property division in court.
- You may consider any increase in value or profit of your business that occurs during marriage as marital property, since acquired after you wed.
- A prenuptial and/or post-nuptial agreement is an easy means for declaring separate ownership of a business or any other asset.
- A business owned by only one spouse before marriage is typically considered individual property, unless of course your spouse has been a contributor to it in some way.
- Many business owners choose to keep their personal and business expenses separated to avoid confusion or conflict.
- It's often possible to negotiate a fair asset exchange in place of business interests when divorce occurs. This generally includes a spouse agreeing to allow the other spouse full possession of a business (or other asset) while accepting some other asset of equal value.
Getting married is often one of the most exciting and joyful experiences in a person's life. It's also a time when intended spouses get nervous and worry about various issues -- some frivolous, others quite important. As a Texas business owner, you may want to be as forthright as possible with your intended spouse to discuss any matters related to your business that are causing you concern before you tie the knot. It's also a good idea to clarify the law regarding business interests and divorce, just in case.
There's no reason marriage success needs to threaten business success. A business and commercial law attorney is a good resource to have on-hand in such situations. Perhaps you could even arrange a meeting with an attorney that includes your soon-to-be spouse.