Do you own your own business? Are you thinking of starting one? Whether your spouse is likely to be involved or not in the day-to-day operations, marital strife has the potential to do a lot of serious harm to your business. It could even tank what might be an otherwise successful enterprise.When a business owner divorces, the issue rarely stays completely personal. Here's how a divorce could end up damaging what you're trying to build:
It eats away at your focus and time
You only have so much energy and so much time. Your business requires most of both of those things to thrive. When you're suddenly confronted with a divorce, your emotional and physical resources have to be divided — and that can take a toll on your operations.
Employees may get dragged in to the fight
This is particularly true when both halves of a divorcing couple are involved in the business operations. Employees may take sides. Some essential players may leave out of concern that the company's future isn't secure. Productivity, in general, may decline if your employees are stressed or asked to focus on pulling documents for the business valuation process.
You may have to dissolve the business
If you can't afford to buy out your spouse's interest in the company, you may have to sell it. Even if that doesn't happen, the negative atmosphere surrounding your divorce and the disruption in your normal routine could damage the company's reputation and profitability.
What can you do to protect what you're building? Generally, you need to be proactive. If you aren't married yet, a prenuptial agreement can protect your budding enterprise. If you are married, a postnuptial agreement can do the same. If those aren't an option because you're already heading for a divorce, it's time to seek experienced legal assistance — before you take another step.