The Business of Divorce - Approaching a Divorce Settlement
Where business owners and directors are concerned however, there is the added complication of wanting to protect the long-term interests of the business within the divorce settlement.
I specialise in acting for business owners, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals in divorce settlements and would provide the following advice when approaching this difficult time:
Consult experts at an early stage.
If you own a business, be it a partnership, limited company or if you operate on a sole-trader basis, it is likely that this its value (whether in terms of capital or as an income producing asset) will be taken into account in a similar way to the value of the marital home, savings and pensions and included within your ‘marital pot’. Business owners should seek advice from a solicitor experienced in representing entrepreneurs and business owners as the complex financial issues involved require specialist advice. In addition, a good working relationship with the business’ accountants is key to identifying the value of a business and issues in relation to liquidity so that informed decisions can be made as to how the business should be treated within divorce proceedings.
Keep a cool head.
The process of reaching a financial settlement within divorce proceedings can often bring out a hard edge to your spouse’s personality. Amongst the arguments, keep sight of the end goal. Many business people often channel their frustrations into a determination to work harder on their business, coming out stronger at the other side of their divorce.
Consider pre-nuptial agreements.
Following a divorce, it is unlikely that you will be thinking of is rushing straight into another long-term relationship. However, if and when you do find yourself in this position, you should consider having a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up. Such agreements are currently not binding on the Courts, but they are gaining in influence and in certain circumstances, they do carry ‘decisive weight’.