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When entrepreneurs divorce

Entrepreneurs in Texas may have some special considerations when they are going through a divorce. The first step whether the business is co-owned or by just one spouse is to get an accurate valuation. This may require hiring a professional that can assess not just the value of tangible assets, such as equipment, but also how much the intangible assets, such as the company's name, are worth. In a family business, records may be kept informally, so it might be necessary to ensure that a spouse is not hiding assets from the other one.

Next, a decision must be made about how the business will be divided. The couple might split it, keep it or sell it. Since Texas is a community property state, if the business was started after the couple were married, it may be considered marital property that needs to be split. In some cases, the individual that owns the business handles this by giving his or her spouse an asset of equal value. If the business is a partnership, one person might have signed an agreement with the other partners that specifies what will happen if one partner divorces.

A person who wants to buy out his or her spouse but who cannot afford to do so might give him or her a promissory note. However, it is important to ensure that there is sufficient collateral for it.

Another option could be that the couple has already addressed the question of what happens to the business in a divorce with a prenuptial agreement. However, if one person did not receive adequate legal advice or feels the agreement was coerced, he or she might challenge the legality of the prenup. In general, a couple may prefer to negotiate property division instead of going to court. Negotiating may be quicker and less expensive and give the couple more say in the outcome of the divorce agreement.

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