If You Run Your Own Business, How Does Marriage Affect Your Company?

When you are married, starting your own business is complicated. Your marriage creates a partnership with your spouse regarding all of your business ventures — a 50-50 partnership — which remains in effect until death or divorce. You should consult a local family law attorney if divorce appears to be a possibility for you.

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Your Business And Your Divorce

Since your business is property, it can be regarded as either community property or separate property. Community property is something that can be divided between the spouses in a divorce, while separate property cannot be divided. Family law attorneys recommend keeping your business as separate property.

If you are engaged to be married — or are considering getting engaged — and you are an entrepreneur, it is wise to consult with a family lawyer well before the wedding date. If you can meet with the family lawyer several months before the wedding, then you can take the steps to protect yourself well in advance of the change in your legal status.

It could be that you need to claim your business as separate property, as a premarital step. If you are about to start a new business, then you want to consider the starting date for this new venture, as it will impact the legal standing of that company.

Premarital agreements can go a long way toward protecting a business from the effects of a divorce. Many steps can be taken to protect both sides of the marriage – for example, you can establish it so that the business itself is separate property, but the profits and income are community property.