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How will property division impact on business interests?

When Texas couples file for divorce, they are sure to encounter many stumbling blocks when important decisions have to be made. After all, choices at this time may impact the post-divorce lives of the parties. One aspect of a divorce that could potentially bring about contention is property division. This becomes even more complicated when one spouse owns -- or is a partner in -- a business enterprise.

It is only natural for business partners to be concerned when one partner files for divorce. Will the soon-to-be ex spouse have a claim on a portion of the business? Also, if an unmarried business partner plans to get married, other partners may want to be satisfied that the new spouse will have no claim to the business in the event of a divorce. 

A similar situation may arise if one spouse owns an existing business before marriage and uses marital funds or community assets to operate it. As such, all or part of the business may be deemed community property. The best way to prevent contention and potential litigation while also protecting the interests of business partners may be for the partners to execute a formal business agreement. Such an agreement can protect the partners and include spousal consent that will allow the divorcing partner to purchase his or her spouse's community interest.

A premarital or post-martial agreement may also be useful in seeking to protect individual business interests. Community property rules under Texas laws may seem complicated and even intimidating. However, no one has to navigate property division and other divorce-related issues on their own. The advice and guidance of an experienced family law attorney will likely be of great value and can help protect the interests and rights of the client.

Source: napavalleyregister.com, "Can new spouse gain ownership in business?", Alex Myers, June 9, 2015

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