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Have you and your business partners talked about … divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2017 | Divorce

Entrepreneurs in Massachusetts and elsewhere who come together through a linkage of their talents and creative energies obviously discuss a great many things en route to realizing their business vision.

It’s certainly not hard to envision smart and committed people with an incipient business idea sitting around a table formulating and honing it, discussing things like product lines, manufacturing processes, geographical markets, advertising, company formation, foundational contracts, employee cultivation and myriad other matters.

One entrepreneur contributing a recent article to Forbes strongly suggests that fledgling business partners routinely focus on one additional matter before their enterprise gets off the ground.

And that is something that is likely not an intuitive inclusion for many business principals contemplating the future of their company and trying to foresee all factors that might complicate it.

Namely, the subject matter is divorce, which the writer says “was never even in the conversation” when co-founders of a startup entity considered business-threatening scenarios that might kick in down the road.

That individual’s business comprised four co-founders, three of whom were single. The fourth, who was married, held a 15% share in the company.

And, of course (drum roll), he began experiencing marital difficulties after the business was established, something none of his partners had remotely considered might happen.

And there was a potential downside to a decoupling for the business, specifically, that some portion of his ownership might go to his soon-to-be ex, putting the business in the situation of being partially owned by a nonparticipant.

Although the matter was ultimately resolved through a pre-divorce buyout process, the Forbes contributor stresses that company principals should have considered the possibility earlier on and had the married partner take protections by executing a marital contract with his spouse.

“One document (e.g., a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial contract, depending on the circumstances in a given case) could have made it a non-issue,” he says.

Of course, such a contract must fully comply with applicable laws and policies, rendering it an imperative that timely and closely focused assistance from a proven divorce attorney be obtained.

Experienced legal counsel can additionally discuss with a client how divorce can impact a business in many — and challenging — ways, and provide sound advice regarding numerous strategies that can be optimally employed to safeguard business interests in the event of a divorce.

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