You may have created your business while starting a new life with a spouse – but how do you protect your business when your marriage falls apart? You may have created your business while starting a new life with a spouse – but how do you protect your business when your marriage falls apart? 

Although you may have never considered this question, it’s important to keep in mind that marriage gives you completely different legal obligations than dating. Married couples are considered to be in a fiduciary relationship, indicating that each party must act in the best interests of the other party, not necessarily themselves. 

For couples that want to separate, obviously this makes divorce very complicated. Here are a few tips on things you can do right now to make this potential future much easier to handle. 

First, sign a prenuptial (before marriage) or postnuptial (after marriage) agreement. These agreements can be tricky, so it needs to be well-drafted while each spouse is represented by their own attorney. Also, keep these tips in mind:

  • The agreement must be in writing (no oral prenups).
  • It must be executed voluntarily and without coercion. This means you shouldn’t sign a prenup the day before the wedding.
  • There must be full disclosure (no hiding of assets).
  • The agreement cannot be unconscionable. This means if you’re making millions, don’t expect to give up only coasters, even if that’s what the prenup says.
  • It must be executed by both parties, preferably in front of witnesses (or a notary, or even a judge).

Believe it or not, you can do much more than just a prenup to protect your business. Join AFEUSA and spend as little as $20 a month for 24/7, unlimited, customized legal advice with our partner Legal Shield. By becoming an AFEUSA member, you’ll always be prepared for the future. 

Article by
Wayne Goshkarian,
Director of Communications

Wayne Goshkarian in front of his jet