Splitting up your biggest assets can cause a lot of conflict in your divorce. Each spouse will want their fair share of the property, and often both spouses want the same things. Bigger assets tend to lead to bigger conflicts between spouses.
Retirement funds and houses can easily become a financial focal point in your divorce. Your small business or professional practice could also be a point of contention. You may have spent years of your life building up the business. Your success with the company is one reason why you and your spouse have enjoyed a comfortable life together. The business has always been yours.
Whether it is something you inherited from your parents or started because you wanted to run your own professional practice as an accountant, it will likely be one of the biggest concerns you have in your upcoming divorce. Can your ex lay claim to the business you built, bought or inherited?
Is the business community property in the eyes of the state?
If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that clearly states the business is your separate property, you will likely have little to worry about in your upcoming divorce. However, if you don’t have a marital agreement on record, you could soon find that the equity in your business is at risk.
Under the concept of community property, everything that you earned or gained while married belongs as much to your spouse as it does to you. Even if your spouse has never worked outside of the home, they could still lay claim to your savings account, your pension and the equity you’ve built up in the home over the course of the marriage.
When you own a small business, any contributions made to the company during the marriage or with marital assets will strengthen your spouse’s clean to share of its value or even partial ownership.
Protecting a specific asset can motivate you to try alternative approaches
If you file a contested divorce in Louisiana, a family law judge will be the one who ultimately decides who keeps what from your marital property. Rather than waiting to find out what happens to your business, you might decide to try alternative dispute resolution techniques.
Collaborative divorce or negotiating directly with each other to settle your property division terms can work for some couples. Those with stronger disagreements may find that arbitration or mediation will help them find solutions to their current disagreements about the divorce.
Learning about community property division in Louisiana can help you develop a workable strategy for your divorce.