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How your company may be affected by your divorce

As a Texas business owner, you make decisions each day that impact the lives of dozens, hundreds or thousands of people. You may think that you’re uniquely prepared to handle the stress that comes with running your business even during a divorce. However, if you don’t take proactive steps to protect your business before seeking a divorce, you may risk losing it to your spouse.

Instability can harm your brand

Customers who aren’t sure if your company is going to be around after your divorce is finalized may be reluctant to buy your products or services. This is because it may not be possible to get a refund, replace a defective item or otherwise obtain assistance after a transaction occurs.

Employees may choose to quit, take early retirement or take other steps to preserve their futures in the face of corporate instability. You can avoid an uncertain future by putting the business in a trust or by creating a prenuptial agreement. You might also be able to create a shareholder agreement that forbids a spouse from obtaining an ownership stake in the business.

You can waive your right to other assets

Texas is a community property state, which means that joint assets such as a business are split in a 50/50 manner. However, you may be able to retain full ownership of your company in exchange for your half of a brokerage account, family home or art collection. A divorce attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement that allows you to keep your business.

Will your spouse accept a buyout?

A buyout may allow your spouse to receive an equivalent of 50% of the company’s market value without receiving an ownership interest in the firm. In some cases, you may be allowed to pay what you owe over a period of several months or years.

An attorney may be a key ally to a business owner who is going through a divorce. Your lawyer may be able to review a prenuptial agreement, negotiate a buyout or take other steps to help you keep your company.

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