Family law has seen an evolution of facts in cases that are directly tied to the economy. One of the more common has been the long-term separation in the same house, but another has been the motivation of business owners to pursue a divorce. Anecdotally, we have seen cases in which the plaintiff is an entrepreneurial business owner who has opted to take advantage of the economic downturn to seek a divorce and secure ownership of their company through equitable distribution. Not surprisingly, a good businessperson who can build a successful company can also see the upside to divorcing in a recession: a depressed business value means they can buy-out their spouses interest for less.
A recent article posted by Reuters and reprinted from Entrepreneur.com offers ways to “divorce-proof” a business.
Some of the suggestions make more sense than others under Pennsylvania’s equitable distribution laws, but it makes the point that good business planning does not stop with the business; it should also include contingencies for things like divorce, death, or incapacity. These events should be considered early on in the creation of the business and at the time of marriage.
The best way to keep your business after a divorce is to create a good plan before you get married.