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Protecting family businesses from divorce

A family business can be a substantial personal asset, especially if its value has increased overtime. Florida residents who co-own a business with their partner or spouse should know about what they can do before and during a marriage to protect the it if a divorce occurs.

A prenuptial agreement is one legal tool that some unwed couples can use to plan for the future and specify what should happen with the family business if they get divorced. It is recommended that if one is being considered that it be negotiated and signed well in advance of the wedding date. This could help to forestall a subsequent challenge by one of the parties that it was signed under duress.

Soon-to-be married couples may instead want to opt for a buy-sell agreement to protect their business. Business co-owners can use the contract to determine what steps should be taken if one of the co-owners leaves the business of their own free will or by force or if one dies. The agreement can stipulate that in the event of a divorce, the former spouse who receives any business interest in the settlement will be required to sell it back to the other co-owner at a price determined by an agreed-upon appraisal method.

Even when there is no business to worry about, property division is often a contentious part of divorce proceedings. As Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution, the court will divide marital property in a manner that it deems to be fair. This does not necessarily mean equally, however, and the result may not be satisfactory to either party. Accordingly, couples may want to have the help of their respective attorneys when attempting to negotiate a settlement agreement.

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Pilka & Associates, P.A.
213 Providence Road
Brandon, FL 33511

Phone: 863-236-9321
Phone: 813-653-3800
Fax: 813-651-0710
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256 North Kentucky Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801

Phone: 863-236-9321
Phone: 863-687-0780
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Local Number 863-236-9321

Local Number 863-687-0780

Fax Number 813-651-0710

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