Congratulations — you’re engaged, or about to be. This is a time to celebrate, call friends and family and, if you are a business owner, check in with your lawyer.
When you own a business it can be like coming to a marriage with another family. Your employees and business partners are all affected by the marriage, for better or worse. Partners especially have an interest in knowing that your share of the joint business won’t suddenly be transferred to a third party. Having a prenuptial agreement that accounts for what happens to the business in the event of divorce is one way of avoiding problems that can creep up later.
To get started in creating any prenuptial agreement, it is important that you lay out all of your finances, assets and debts, before marriage. This gives your fiancée a full and accurate picture of your financial present and possible future, and opens up the necessary discussion of your business interests. Note that if you leave out any assets or debts, even by accident, the agreement will be void.
Once the ball gets rolling, the prenuptial agreement for a business owner should address the following concerns that will be key considerations if the owner gets divorced:
Remember that a court will not enforce an “unconscionable” agreement that offends the judge’s sensibilities and sense of fairness. This goes to the terms of the agreement itself as well as the circumstances under which it was negotiated and signed, especially when it involves complicated issues like the distribution of a business. You need to understand your legal rights and responsibilities before you enter into what could easily be the most important financial negotiation of your life.
As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 27 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.
Alexandra M. Rockwood is an Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis & Associates and has been with the firm since early 2020. She practices primarily in the areas of matrimonial and family law. Ms. Rockwood graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in History and minors in Political…