Your business may be a company you inherited from your grandparents, or it might be a company you started on your own after finishing college. You have likely invested years of time and thousands of dollars in the development and maintenance of the company. It may be the primary source of revenue for you or for your entire family. You might even employ your spouse or your children.
If you start thinking about divorce, you will likely worry about what the Texas community property laws would mean for your business. Will you have to share control of the company or ownership of the business with your ex in a Texas divorce?
Businesses may be marital property in some cases
When you started or acquired the company and how much you have invested in it during your marriage will determine whether or not the family courts consider it marital property. If you started the company during your marriage or used income from during your marriage to invest in and develop the business, then the company may be part of your marital estate and subject to division.
If you owned the business prior to marriage or inherited it and kept it separate, you may be able to better protect it. Those who addressed the business in a marital agreement will also have an easier time protecting their interest in the company in the event of a divorce.
You don’t have to lose the company if it’s marital property
Protecting your business is still possible even if it is clearly marital property that you have to divide in your divorce. While the courts may expect you to divide its value, you may be able to retain ownership on your own.
Business owners particularly worried about what will happen to the company could try to negotiate their own property settlements with their exes. Those worried about what will happen to their most valuable assets will need to learn a bit more about community property rules in Texas and also review their own financial records to determine what might be at risk in a divorce.
Making sense of what happens in a Texas divorce can be difficult, but the right education and support can help you understand what to expect and help you protect what matters the most.