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Divorce: How to protect assets re business partner's breakup

Many businesses operate under partnerships. If one of the partners is getting a divorce, it can negatively impact the other partner's business assets. Especially in equitable distribution states like New Jersey, where property is not always divided 50/50, it is critical that the non-divorcing business partner takes steps to protect his or her rights.

One way to avoid problems is to require partners who will be getting married to sign prenuptial agreements ahead of time to maintain the business as a separately owned property. This requirement can be incorporated into the bylaws of a company. If that step was not taken during business formation, then perhaps postnuptial agreements for partners who are already married may still be an option. Buyout insurance, as well, often enables a nondivorcing business partner to buy out the interests of the divorcing partner.

A divorcing partner will have to fully disclose financial information related to the business when property division proceedings occur. A confidentiality agreement can prevent such information from being shared outside proceedings. In every divorce where a business is at stake, a proper valuation must be conducted to determine its market value at the time of separation.

If a New Jersey business owner has a partner preparing for divorce, he or she may wish to consult with an experienced attorney to determine how best to protect his or her business assets. This is the type of situation that can not only destroy business partnerships but friendships, as well, if things get messy in court. Exploring options ahead of time and getting as much in writing as possible to prevent economic loss is the best way to avoid legal problems and personal fallouts if a marital breakup occurs involving the partner of a business.

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