All around the country, divorces trigger business partnerships to terminate. However, things can become especially complicated in community property states such as California, where laws state that divorcing couples each own half of their marital assets. While making plans for a potential future breakup may not be high on the list of a couple planning a wedding, it may make matters easier if the relationship ever does end.
Take for example a case that occurred in Louisiana, which is also a community property state. While already married, a woman created a small business that became quite lucrative. When the couple divorced years later, the court divided their property. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the woman lost control of the business to her ex-husband. She was eventually able to buy it back from him, but she might have avoided the trouble if an agreement concerning a possible property division had been initiated when she first started the business.
Another successful business, which is owned by a high-profile couple in Delaware, was ordered to be put for sale by a civil court because the estranged owners could not reach an agreement regarding the company. The man and woman were engaged but never married and were long-term business partners. Their case has been in litigation for a few years and has so far reached the state supreme court.
Happy couples usually do not want to think about coming to a crossroads in their relationship. However, if partners seek the advice of a family law office early on, they could get the help needed to create an asset division agreement that is fair and acceptable to both parties. An attorney might assist with prenuptial agreements or other documents that ensure property interests and business assets are protected.