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Documents can protect your business during a divorce

The relatively high rate of divorce seen in Ohio and throughout the U.S. should have business owners concerned for the futures of their companies. This is because many business owners are married and many of their marriages may not last. However, few have plans in place to protect what is often their most valuable asset.

Like many High Asset divorces, a split that involves a business can become contentious. This is where having an attorney on your side can become extremely helpful. A legal professional can help you navigate the divorce settlement, trading this for that and exchanging one asset for another to make sure that your former spouse does not receive an ownership stake in the business that you started. Of course, this could be avoided with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Experts often suggest that these documents be drafted so that individuals who bring major assets to the marriage can leave the marriage with them intact. For a prenuptial, experts suggest that the document be worked on with both spouses in mind and then drafted by a professional. It should be signed at least 30 days before the marriage is made legal to lend it some credibility in court. Prenuptials that are signed days or hours before a couple shares their vows are often seen as forced, potentially rendering the documents invalid.

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial in that it allows a couple to determine certain aspects of the divorce should it ever occur. Though many people perceive these documents as unromantic, they can be extremely helpful. One of the best arguments for having a prenuptial or postnuptial is this: Would you rather determine what happens during a divorce while you are still in love or when you are not? Hashing it out while a couple is still happy with one another is often much easier and more beneficial for both than the contentious fights that occur once the marriage has gone sour.

Source: News Observer, "Ask the experts: Prepare for marriage, divorce so they don't tear business apart," Jessaca Giglio, April 2, 2013

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