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Protecting your small business in divorce starts yesterday

Divorce is rarely a simple matter. For those who have built a business from the ground up, the prospect of ending a marriage takes on a much greater weight than it does for those who are merely ending a marriage.

Depending on the measures you took ahead of time to protect your business venture and when you founded the business in relation to your marriage, a poorly handled or vicious divorce could spell disaster. It could mean watching the business you've worked so hard to build get cannibalized like any other asset that is subject to asset division in a divorce.

If you are considering a divorce, or are already engaged in the process, it is vital to take immediate action and get the help you need to ensure that your business, and possibly its employees are able to weather your personal stormy season.

Establish the business's relationship to your marriage

It is possible that you may have taken precautions against divorce destroying your business venture through the use of a prenuptial agreement. Or perhaps you think that your business will not be considered a marital asset because it was already growing before your marriage occurred.

These are better-case-scenarios than having no protections whatsoever, but they don't mean that you can sit back and wait for things to blow over in the divorce process. At the very least, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney with a background in complex divorces and business valuation to take stock of the risks that you face.

If you have no safeguards against your business being divided as an asset in your divorce, then you need to decide in short order where your priorities lie. If your business is vulnerable to asset division, then you may need to take all appropriate measures to ensure it remains intact.

When it comes to divorce, rarely is anything guaranteed to be safe

Building this strategy will be most successful if you collaborate with an experienced and detail-oriented legal counsel who can evaluate the entire scope of your estate and help you craft a plan that is likely to be accepted by your spouse.

Wise and experienced legal counsel may suggest that you attempt to work with your spouse as much as possible to reach an agreement that will leave your business intact. As each divorce is different, the factors of your case will determine which course of action you take.

Ultimately, if your business is truly the element that you wish to save over the rest of your estate, then you will have a fight on your hands, and any fight is better with experienced fighters in your corner.

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