For business owners in Oklahoma, divorce can bring up some unique considerations. While few people want to think about divorce when they decide to marry, planning for all eventualities can be especially important for entrepreneurs. Indeed, some investors and venture capitalists may insist on a divorce planning framework to safeguard their investments in case a founder’s marriage comes to an end.
Because a divorce can have a significant effect on the future of a business, planning in advance can be an important goal for entrepreneurs. A prenuptial agreement or postnuptial contract can address how the business will be treated in case the marriage comes to an end. In order to be upheld, a prenup should reflect both parties’ interests, and each party should have their own lawyer. Therefore, the agreement may recognize the business as the separate property of one partner. Still, it could also recognize increases in value after the marriage as marital property. It might assign a percentage value to the other partner or mandate that this share be distributed in cash rather than by dividing the company.
In some cases, spouses choose not to sign a prenup or other contract. This is a much murkier approach legally, but there are actions that business owners can take to protect themselves. It is important not to commingle personal and business assets. In addition, business owners should be careful to pay themselves market salaries; otherwise, their income could be imputed from business profits.
The specialized concerns of a business owner during a divorce require precise attention and care. A family law attorney can provide guidance and representation in pursuing a fair settlement on property division, spousal support and other matters.