Divorce and your business

Divorce is one of the Top 3 most stressful life events for anyone who goes through it. However, if you add into the equation a business interest that you need to protect that can make matters even more complicated. If you’re currently facing a parting of the ways on the personal front then there are some important things to consider.

Stay calm

It is almost always during the financial discussions of a divorce that couples see each other at their absolute worst. Emotional issues can become tied into money matters and it can feel difficult to separate the need to be financially fair and the desire to punish someone for doing something hurtful. Staying calm is essential for business owners during the divorce process – what is your end goal, where do you want your business to go next? Stay focused on the horizon as the emotions will pass but (hopefully) the business will remain long after the papers have been signed.

Ask the experts

Every divorce is different and the risk to your business will depend on many factors, from how it is owned, to what other assets you have. The most likely outcome is that it will be taken into account in the same way as the marital home or other assets – courts don’t tend to order a business to be sold. Maintenance may have to be paid from the business income and the spouse who does not have an interest in the business could be allocated a larger share of cash or assets outside the business. Given the complex and individual nature of every situation it’s important to consult an expert and get personally tailored advice as early as possible.

Alternative dispute resolution

Divorces that make it to the courts tend to be the most expensive and have the most limited number of outcomes. If you and your spouse are able to submit to mediation and come to an agreement outside of the courts then you will find the divorce much less costly and far more flexible.

What are the deal breakers for you?

It’s tempting to fight your spouse on every point during a divorce, particularly if emotions are running high. However, what’s best for the business (and for everyone involved) is a swift resolution that’s fair to all parties. Work out what your priorities are and be prepared to let some of the less important matters go. Maintain perspective on where you are and where you want to go next and don’t make every point a battle.

Protect yourself in future

A pre-nuptial agreement doesn’t have the same legal basis in the UK as in other countries but it does have some weight. So, if you find yourself on the verge of another marriage in the future it’s a good idea to put the document in place to avoid another potentially difficult separation in the future. Ultimately, the document is designed to protect your business as one of your assets and any future spouse should understand how important that is.

To arrange an appointment with a divorce Solicitor in Lancaster or Preston please call 01524 386500 or click here to contact us.