Women in New Jersey who own their own business may be frightened at the prospect of losing part or all of it in a divorce. If the business experiences growth during the marriage, it could be considered to be marital property. This means that it would be subject to division in the divorce. Women may wonder what they can do to protect their business in case they get divorced in the future.
The best time for a woman to divorce-proof her business is before she gets married. A prenuptial agreement is a written legal agreement between two individuals who will be getting married. It is an effective protective measure because it sets forth what would be separate property in case the couple decided to divorce in the future. In order for the agreement to be legally binding, it needs to be executed before witnesses in a voluntary way. Full financial disclosure is essential.
A postnuptial agreement may be appropriate for women who are already married and never signed a prenuptial agreement. In some cases, they are not upheld in court. However, postnuptial agreements are a good option for communicating a person’s intentions and have proven to be better than nothing.
If it’s too late for a prenuptial agreement, another option could be transferring the ownership of a business into a trust. Trusts are complex legal entities and often carry certain restrictions as far as the type of corporation that can be owned by them.
A woman may want to discuss how she could protect her business or other assets in the case of divorce with a lawyer. An attorney could answer questions about high asset-divorces, help her file for divorce or even represent her in front of a judge if her divorce goes to court.