The short answer is that it depends. Whether an ex-spouse will be entitled to a portion of your business assets will specifically depend on when you married, when your business started, and some other factors, which we will point out below.
Factors That Can Impact an Ex’s Entitlements to Your Business in Divorce
Some of the main factors that can affect whether or not you may have to split your business assets with your ex in divorce include:
- When your marriage occurred – Specifically, were you married prior to starting the business? If so, it may be possible to argue that your ex helped you finance or form the business, making him or her entitled to a portion of it. These arguments can hold more weight if or when marital funds or assets were used to start, operate, or sustain the business.
Whether a prenup or post-nuptial agreement was signed – If you and your ex signed a legitimate prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement that contains terms regarding your business, then typically, your business interests will be divided (or protected) according to those terms. If, however, the terms are deemed to be “unconscionable” (or the agreement is invalid for other reasons), the court can throw out the agreement and divide the business interests as it sees fit (if you and your ex are unable to come to an agreement about this on your own).
Whether you have a buy-sell agreement for your business – These legally binding agreements can also provide specific terms for how a divorce will impact your business interests and assets. So, if you have one of these agreements in place, it’s important to understand its terms related to divorce in order to figure out how the end of your marriage will impact these interests.
Contact a Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau
When you need superior, effective representation in an Arizona divorce, you can rely on Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer Karen Schoenau for the best possible outcomes to your case. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.
To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-467-3435 or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.
From her offices based in Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.