Owning and operating a business, whether in Georgia or elsewhere, is a job like no other. Entrepreneurs put in time, sweat and maybe a few tears getting their companies off the ground and running successfully. A number of things can bring a business down. Many people do not consider their marriages to be one of them, but the truth is, divorce can do a number on a business.
In Georgia, one’s business may be considered marital property. The best way to protect it from being divided in the divorce process is to protect it from the very beginning. Those who have started companies before getting married may want to consider having their fiancés sign prenuptial agreements that state the company will remain personal property in the event of divorce. Those who start businesses after getting married or who failed to consider prenuptial agreements may want to consider postnuptial agreements — which essentially do everything prenups do.
Without a pre or postnuptial agreement, the only way to keep a business protected from asset division is to show that it is indeed separate property. One may only be able to do this if it there is documentation showing that income from the business was not commingled with marital funds and that one’s spouse had nothing to do with any aspect of business operations. Documentation is key as there needs to be proof to back up one’s claims.
Georgia residents who are business owners or who are considering opening their own companies and who are getting married or are already married would be wise to seek legal counsel in order to take steps to protect their businesses before divorce even enters the picture. An experienced family law attorney can help one do just that. If protections were not put in place and divorce is now on the table, one’s legal counsel can help one do everything necessary to get through it while doing as little damage to the company as possible.