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Protecting a business from divorce part 2: priority negotiations

If you are a business owner facing a divorce, you almost certainly are concerned about your business weathering the storm of your personal life. This can get pretty tricky, especially if you did not protect yourself and your spouse with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement before the relationship began to falter.

Essentially, you're looking at a good news/bad news proposition at this point. The good news is that it is possible for your business to make it through your divorce intact. The bad news is, in the absence of prior protections, your options are much less pleasant.

As in any high-asset divorce, it is crucial to secure experienced legal guidance as soon as possible. The more complex your assets are, the more complicated it is to work out an acceptable divorce settlement.

Since your assets include a business, which is an exceptionally complex asset, you want to make sure that your attorney has years of experience in business valuation and negotiating complex agreements.

Know exactly what your business is worth

To save your business from division on the divorce settlement negotiation table, you must decide what you will sacrifice to keep it. You must also have a clear picture of what your business is actually worth so that you do not negotiate away more than you have to in order to save it.

A professional business valuation removes any confusion of the worth of the business and helps to combat any moves your spouse's attorneys may take to inflate its value. Once you know exactly the worth, you can fairly chart a course to keeping it intact.

Be prepared to sacrifice other assets

Legally speaking, your spouse probably can claim that he or she deserves a portion of the business as a part of asset division. In order to keep this off the table, you may have to buy your soon-to-be ex out of one's share, either directly or through offering other assets.

For instance, you may be able to keep the business intact by giving your spouse your marital home outright, or by allowing him or her to take a larger portion of an investment account than he or she might not otherwise get.

Whatever strategy you choose to pursue, whether these or something else, it is wise to do so with strong legal guidance to ensure that your divorce does not drag on and drain the business away from you while you are trying to save it.

Choose a strong team for strong results

High-asset divorces can become an unending quagmire without proper legal guidance to keep things on track. Proper, qualified legal guidance from an attorney with years of experience negotiating complex divorces will help you protect your business, secure your rights, and chart a path to fresh start after a difficult season.