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Divorce, property division could negatively affect businesses

New York business owners know that even a seemingly small issue could cause considerable problems within a company. Even personal issues among co-owners or business partners could negatively impact the business. In particular, when a person goes through divorce and property division proceedings, business assets and interests could be at risk.

If a business has more than one owner, having an owners' agreement in place may prove useful. Even if the co-owners are spouses, having written agreements may help avoid issues. This agreement could detail what may happen in the event that a person goes through divorce, and for spouses who are co-owners, this agreement could go hand-in-hand with a prenuptial agreement that helps them address what should happen to each person's interests in the business. 

Individuals may also want to ensure that they have taken the proper actions to protect their intellectual property. Fighting over ideas could become a reality if co-owners of a company choose to end their marriage and, subsequently, their business arrangements. In hopes of protecting intangible assets, individuals may wish to ensure that they have the proper paperwork to address copyrights, patents and other intellectual property.

Some individuals may think it unnecessary to go through protection efforts when in business with a spouse, but it is not unusual for personal and business relationships to change. Taking the time to create a prenuptial agreement may help avoid potential complications. In the event that divorce does come about, speaking with experienced attorneys could help New York residents better understand how to protect their business interests when it comes to property division.

Source:, "17 New Year's resolutions for entrepreneurs," David G. Bates, Jan. 22, 2018

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