A divorce can be a challenging time in your personal life, but if you’re the owner of a small business then this can complicate things even more. The main issues with this are of course financial, as the potential expenses involved – covering divorce lawyers, fees and more – could prove to be incredibly damaging for your company.
To help shed some light on this, below we’ve detailed what these costs can look like and offered a few examples of how you can help mitigate these circumstances and protect your business.
The Costs of Divorce Lawyers
Firstly, you’ll need to hire a divorce lawyer to assist you through the process itself. Their expertise can be invaluable as they will be able to help with everything from business valuations to settlements, managing prenups and much more. They can also be there to diplomatically argue against any claims made by your spouse, which could affect you personally, or the reputation of your business.
The Costs to the Business
You may not be able to be at work as much as you’d like, due to meetings, court appearances, hearings and more. As such, your profitability can be affected as production can suffer, or you may need to pay for external support to handle your business affairs in your absence.
The Costs of Proceedings
All of these meetings and appearances can also be costly; more so if you end up having to pay for them all if this is ruled in the final divorce settlement agreement or decree.
The Costs of the Settlements
Like any divorce, the settlements can vary in severity. In the worst-case scenarios, you could lose the majority of your business assets and see your company fold. You may also have to split your business’ assets or shares between your partner. However, the settlement might be amicable and won’t necessarily affect your business as much as predicted.
Actions to Take
So, to help avoid the worst-case scenarios and give you the best chance of making the whole divorce process as simple as it can be for you and your business, you first need to choose the right divorce lawyer.
It makes sense to look to firms with specialisms in this area such as Withers, as they’ll be in a better position to support you with the intricacies of a divorce where a small business is also involved.
In addition to this, you can also get your business valued independently to avoid any conflicts of interest and disputes.
Lastly, you always need to be honest during this process and it’s worth reseaching the potential impacts a divorce can have when beginning proceedings. This can help make the situation a little less traumatic for all involved, particularly if you have children.