Many successful business owners enter into a marriage either before significant success occurs. Whether you establish your business success before or after tying the knot with your spouse, a potential divorce might have a greater impact on your business interests than you ever imagined. Often times, those impacts are not necessarily good, like when an ex-spouse unloads a lot of stocks and devalues company shares. Fortunately, Maryland family law provides two tools for protecting business interests: prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
How a prenup helps
If you enter your marriage with a successful business endeavor or one that might become successful, a prenuptial agreement can protect that asset in case of a divorce. If left unprotected, a soon-to-be ex-spouse could get up to half its value in shares or other ownership interests. A prenuptial agreement can protect your business by declaring it off limits to your spouse. Another benefit could be made instead, such as a sum of money or ongoing allowance.
How a postnup helps
Maybe you married years prior to ever having a business idea or interest. Being the entrepreneur that you are, you wound up doing something that became successful. You can protect that with a postnuptial agreement, which clearly details which assets would go to which spouse and in what amounts when shared. A postnuptial agreement also can address any changes in your living standards, like a potential shift in career goals or one spouse staying home to raise children.
Prevent unintended consequences
No one enters into a marriage with the aim of getting divorced, but about half of all marriages end in divorce no matter how well-intended the couple was when married. Whether you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place and need to adjust it or if you want to create a new one, an attorney experienced in Maryland family law may be of assistance. Your attorney may go over the various options and potential legal outcomes if your marriage ends.