How divorce can impact businesses

Nearly half of all American marriages end in divorce. People in Wisconsin are well aware that the division of assets often is one of the most bothersome parts of the whole process. What some individuals may not understand is that getting divorced can have a big impact on businesses in which the parties involved run or have ownership.

How assets are divided

Divorce works differently in different states. In community property states like Wisconsin, everything gained during the marriage is split down the middle. Because of this, one person may get half of his or her spouse’s stock in a divorce. This can lead to awkward situations regarding making decisions for the future of a company. In fact, it can be prudent to offer to buy that spouse out. Otherwise, it can be like having a partner you never intended to have.

Avoiding the problem

Another strategy is to plan for marriage with an understanding of how common divorce has become. Drafting a prenuptial agreement can be great insurance against a drawn-out divorce. It’s a good idea to discuss things like asset division while the parties involved want the best for each other.

Other ways to protect a business include putting it into a trust. That way, it’s not the property of any one person and won’t be divided as a marital asset. The time to do this is before the marriage or early on during it. Transferring a business to a trust right before filing for divorce may be judged as fraud in court. An experienced attorney who has handled complex divorce cases is a must for anyone who owns a small business or is a partner in a large one.