Coates & Frey, Attorneys at Law, LLLC
Phone: (808) 524-4854

Could your romance put your business in danger?

You're a creative individual with a lot of passion and drive, so it's no wonder that you attracted someone else with similar characteristics. Now, you're about to be married to a person you can absolutely see as your lifelong partner both in business and in your private life.

But...what if it doesn't work out?

When a spouse isn't involved in an enterprise at all, it can be a lot easier to insulate the business from a divorce. However, it isn't unusual for creative couples to pour their combined energies into a shared endeavor. There's nothing wrong in that --you just need a clear understanding of what will happen to the business if the relationship fails.

Here are some top questions you need to ask your intended -- and your attorney -- before the wedding day:

1. Do you both understand your respective roles?

If you created the business before your future spouse came along, do you still intend to retain full control of the business after you marry? Your intended spouse may have different expectations for how things will work after the wedding since the company's success will more directly affect his or her finances. Make sure you are both on the same page.

2. Do you agree on what will happen in a split?

If you divorce, are either of you willing to gracefully bow out of the business in exchange for fair compensation? If so, how will that compensation be determined? What steps will go into calculating the dollar figures involved? There's no right or wrong answer, as long as you both can come to an agreement.

3. Are you both willing to sign a prenup?

If you can't agree how to handle the division of your business now -- while things are good -- the odds are high that you'll end up in a pitched battle over the assets if the marriage fails. A prenuptial agreement gives you both assurances that you'll be treated fairly in a divorce. If your intended refuses to sign one, take that into consideration before you say, "I do."

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