Nobody goes into a marriage expecting anything but happily ever after. However, if you have been burned by a former marriage or just want to play it safe to protect the business you are devoting much of your life to building, protecting your business in a prenuptial agreement can be wise.
Signing a prenup can provide peace of mind when joining your life with the one you love. There is no reason why spending your life with someone needs to be combined with risking the business you're building. Know business law well or hire an attorney who is an expert to protect your best interests and the best interests of your company. Here are tips for protecting your company when entering a marriage.
Choose Separate Representation for the Premarital Agreement
The nature of asking someone you love to sign a premarital agreement can be awkward and uncomfortable, especially if your fiancé feels bitter or frustrated about being asked to sign it. You may be tempted to try to soften the mood by having one attorney represent you both, but that is a big mistake.
If you and your spouse eventually divorce one day, their lawyer may go after the fact that you and your fiancé were represented by the same lawyer. It can seem as though one lawyer gave you the advantage since they were hired by you. Avoid this risky situation by ensuring that your fiancé has separate representation for all meetings about the prenuptial agreement.
Include Clear Instructions on Debt That Is Incurred in the Marriage
When you are married to someone, you may be generally held responsible for your spouse's debts. If you fear that your spouse may spend irresponsibly or be willing to take on a massive amount of debt, that could potentially endanger your company. Creditors can go after your assets, including your business, if your spouse owes a lot of money.
One way that you can help prevent this frustrating situation is to include specific provisions in your prenuptial agreement that clearly establishes that you don't intend to assume your spouse's debts within the marriage. In many situations, that can help limit the liability you face if you and your spouse get a divorce someday.
Finally, keep in mind that it is probably best to keep your spouse entirely separate from your business. Avoid hiring your spouse or asking them to do extended favors for the company. If they do a lot of work for the company, your spouse may try to stake a claim in it in the event of a divorce even if you have a prenup that otherwise protects your interest in the business. If in doubt, see a business law attorney who can help ensure you're protected.