If you operate a business in the state of Arkansas, it may be considered a marital asset even if your spouse doesn’t actively work for the company or hasn’t ever. In such a scenario, it’s possible that your partner may obtain an equity stake in your firm in a final divorce settlement.
Why might a business be a marital asset?
Generally speaking, anything that is acquired during a marriage is considered to be a joint asset. Therefore, if you start a company after getting married, your spouse will likely have a right to a portion of current and future profits. Your partner may have a stronger claim to a stake in your company if he or she had a prominent role in helping it grow.
What can you do to retain control of the asset?
Perhaps the easiest way to retain control of your business is to include it in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. You may also be able to put the company into a trust that is held outside of the marital estate after it is created. Finally, it may be possible to buy an insurance policy that will cover the cost of any buyout that you are required to make per the terms of your divorce settlement.
There is a strong possibility that the future of your company may be influenced by the outcome of a divorce proceeding. By taking steps to ensure its stability, you may be able to protect your ability to stay at the helm of a successful business. Furthermore, you may also be able to ensure the financial futures of your partners, employees and shareholders.