In the state of Florida, a business can be divided in a divorce settlement. However, there are steps that you can take to ensure that you retain control of your company after your marriage comes to an end. For instance, it may be possible to place it in a trust, label it as separate property in a prenuptial agreement or trade it for other assets during settlement talks.
Why you should consider placing your company in a trust
Placing a company in a trust keeps it outside of the marital estate, which means that it isn’t subject to the property allocation process. Ideally, you’ll work with an attorney to ensure that the trust is established in accordance with state law. Otherwise, there is a chance that a judge might rule the trust invalid and award a portion of this asset to your spouse.
How to negotiate a prenuptial agreement
A prenuptial agreement can define the financial terms of a divorce before your wedding takes place. As a general rule, it is a valid document assuming that neither party was forced to sign it against their will. Furthermore, as the name implies, it needs to be executed before the marriage becomes official. If you can’t come to an agreement before this happens, you can include your company in a postnuptial contract.
What does your spouse really want from a settlement?
There is a chance that your spouse will want ownership of a home, joint retirement account or art collection as opposed to receiving equity in your organization. This may be especially true if that person isn’t interested in actually running the business after the divorce is finalized, so you may negotiate an exchange to keep your company.
If you own a business, it’s important to understand how to protect it from being seized in a divorce. An attorney may provide more insight into how assets are divided when a marriage comes to an end.