Kates Nussman Ellis Farhi & Earle, LLP
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Divorce and Your Business

The most immediate impact of a divorce is on the family unit. The bonds between wife and husband and children and parents are broken or at best damaged. But identifying and dividing marital assets can have just as great an impact and long-term consequences. Every current or potential business owner contemplating divorce should ask "what's love got to do with it?" when thinking about those consequences.

Pre-nuptial agreements are an obvious first step to protecting that business in a "worst case" scenario. It is a legally binding contract that if written correctly cannot be broken by a former partner. While bringing up to your future spouse a "pre-nup" may be hurtful or even offensive, it can be a necessary part of long-term business planning. A business owner may need to income flow from his/her business if there are financial obligations to spouse and children after a divorce.

Entering into a marriage is, in fact, in large part a business decision. Your business, as well as other assets like a home, stocks and bank accounts, may have to be divided equally in a divorce. You should always prepare for the worst case scenario in business. So to be blunt, it's fine to want to make your partner happy. But with business-planning alternatives such as a "pre-nup" available, there's no excuse for not protecting what you own before making that commitment.

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