If you own a business or professional practice, chances are that is one of your most valuable assets. It takes endless work and a lot of dedication to grow a business and have it become successful. The last thing you want is to have half of it taken away when you get a divorce. Everything you and your spouse have together must be divided before you can finalize your divorce -- and that can include businesses and professional practices. Do not worry -- there are things you can do to make sure your business remains in your possession. Here are five ways you can protect your business during your divorce:
1. Get a Fair Valuation
The first step you should take before you begin dividing up your assets is to get a valuation of your business, so you know what it is worth. Instead of estimating what your business is worth, you may opt to use a court-appointed evaluator who will look at multiple facets of your business to arrive at a valuation. Such aspects include your business records, the business’ goodwill, and business competition. Then, you can hire an outside professional to review the numbers just to make sure everything is square.
2. Keep Business and Pleasure Separate
You have heard it before, but you really should try to make sure your business finances are separate from your personal finances. The key is to keep good, comprehensive records for your business. Not only is this a good business practice, but it also ensures that your business is not lumped into your personal finances.
3. Pay Yourself a Good Salary
It can actually benefit you to pay yourself a decent salary rather than paying yourself a conservative one. If you take a smaller-than-warranted salary, your spouse could argue that not enough of the business’ profits went back into the household and therefore, he or she is entitled to more of the business.
4. Negotiate With Other Assets
You can also use other assets that you own as negotiating tools for keeping your business in your full control. Whether it is the family home, a vehicle or cash, these can be used to buy out your spouse’s portion of the company.
5. Hire a DuPage County Asset Division Lawyer
Everyone knows divorce is tough. It affects your entire family, and it consumes your life for months and in some cases, years. If you are a business owner, protecting your business is probably very high on your list of priorities in your divorce. Getting help from an experienced Wheaton divorce attorney can be the key to making sure you retain all or most of the rights to your business or professional practice when you begin dividing your assets.
At the Goostree Law Group, we can help you figure out what the best course of action would be so you can keep doing what you love. Call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.