Business owners facing divorce go through all the emotions and stress associated with divorce, plus the added pressure of deciding how and what to do with the business itself. In this article, our Frisco and Plano divorce lawyers offer four tips to help Texas business owners prepare for the divorce process.
Tip #1: Never Mix Business and Personal Expenses
It’s quite common for business owners to use business accounts to pay for various expenses such as cell phones, vehicles, and even meals. Many times, there are reasonable justifications for using business accounts to pay for such expenses and there isn’t much cause for concern.
Divorce changes things, however. The use of company funds for expenses that could potentially be viewed as personal will be scrutinized. Your finances—personal and professional—will all be evaluated to determine child support and spousal maintenance.
So, when you know you’re getting divorced, start paying more attention to how you’re covering expenses.
Tip #2: Find a Qualified Business Appraiser
Business valuation will be a key aspect in your divorce. Typically, your attorney recommends an appraiser who they know to be skilled in valuing companies. If you look for an appraiser yourself, seek out a Certified Business Appraiser (CBA) or Master Certified Business Appraiser (MCBA). People with such certifications have met rigorous requirements and proven their knowledge.
Tip #3: Familiarize Yourself With the Basics of Texas Property Division
Your company is an asset, and as such, it is subject to division under Texas law. This is why most business owners are concerned about whether they will be able to keep the business, whether they should sell it, or what’s going to happen to it.
Your attorney will explain all the details during the course of your case, but it helps to go in with a basic idea of property division so you can ask good questions and better understand what your lawyer is saying. We encourage you to start by reading our earlier articles about valuing a closely held business and property division in a business divorce.
Tip #4: Try to Avoid Restrictions on Your Operations
You very likely want to keep the company running while the divorce is pending. The best way to do this is for you and your spouse to agree on how the company should run and how the income will be split. If you cannot agree, the court may issue temporary orders spelling out how the books should be handled and other steps until the business is either divided or awarded to one of the spouses.
Talk to a Dallas Business Owner Divorce Attorney
The Texas family lawyers of Albin Oldner, PLLC have decades of experience representing business owners and spouses in divorce. We are ready to meet with you and get to work protecting your personal and business interests. Call (214) 225-9138 or send us a message to schedule a meeting.