Getting a divorce is never an easy process from a financial standpoint. However, dissolving a marriage can be particularly complicated when a business venture is at the center of a couple's property division dispute. Still, business owners who have prenuptial agreements in place may best protect their interests during the divorce process in Pennsylvania.
Prenuptial agreements are essentially contracts that spell out how a couple's assets will be split in the event that they get divorced in the future. These agreements must be created and signed prior to the wedding. A business owner who has a business partner may save his or her business during a potential divorce by producing a prenuptial agreement declaring that any pre-marital assets' appreciation will go to the partner during the divorce. The prenuptial agreement may also help to protect the business partner's stake in the company and keep the business owner's spouse from receiving a share.
Otherwise, the business owner's future ex may rightfully receive half of the appreciation of the business's value if the company was formed prior to the wedding. Meanwhile, if the company was created following the wedding, the future ex may rightfully receive half of the business partner's stake in the venture. This is because the business would be deemed marital property in this situation and thus would have to be split equitably between the spouses according to state law.
Prenuptial agreements can certainly help to protect business owners' ventures, but even if a divorcing business owner never created a prenuptial agreement, he or she still has options. For example, the business owner and his or her future ex may decide to go through divorce negotiations or mediation to resolve their property division dispute rather than going to trial. This may increase the business owner's chances of achieving the most personally beneficially outcome given the circumstances surrounding the marital breakup in Pennsylvania.