Nobody ever thinks they are going to get divorced when they are first married. However, when a couple gets divorced and they do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, there is a very good chance their divorce will fall into the litigation process. When a divorce is contested, a couple is oftentimes forced to endure various emotional and financial hardships. Unfortunately, if the couple owns a business together, this process can become even more complex, as the courts will have to determine the value of a shared business or the share of one party in the business to achieve a fair and equitable property division. If your future with your business may be on the line, you most likely have several questions regarding the best step forward. You should not wait any longer–read up on your options and contact an experienced attorney who is ready to fight for your rights. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What property is exempt property in a divorce?

Property is sometimes considered exempt from a divorce if it comes in any of the following forms:

  • Assets designated as exempt in a written agreement, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
  • Gifts
  • Property acquired before a marriage
  • Inherited assets

You should know that “equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal,” rather, it tends to mean “fair” in the eyes of the court. This is why you should hire an experienced attorney who will fight for your rights.

How is a business valued?

When deciding the terms of your divorce, financial experts will analyze business records, and in some cases, the court may mandate an inquiry into your business practices and expenses. The court may ask for additional information regarding aspects of your financial information. If you or your spouse submit this information incorrectly or untruthfully, you and your business may be subject to an investigation by the IRS, which can have far-reaching implications.

How do I protect my business from a divorce?

To protect your business from a divorce, you and your spouse may either draft a shareholder agreement, a prenuptial agreement, or a postnuptial agreement. A shareholder agreement 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 tackle some of these very same issues in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement as well. If you are getting a divorce and own a business with your spouse, please do not hesitate to contact one of our compassionate divorce attorneys today.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

The Law Office of Toby Grabelle, LLC is a family and divorce law firm serving Monmouth County and all of New Jersey that would be happy to assist you in legal counsel. If you need quality legal services, contact the firm for a consultation.