Ending a marriage is one of the hardest things a person can do, even if the individual knows it is for the best. Pennsylvania residents who are business owners may be hit particularly hard as their companies are most likely to be affected if they choose to divorce. Some people may think that their companies will remain theirs following the dissolution of their marriage, but the truth is a business may be considered shared marital property — that is, unless, proper protections are put in place well beforehand.

There are two things that business owners can do to ensure that their companies will be counted as separate property if divorce ever enters the picture. First, before marriage, drafting and signing a prenuptial agreement is a positive step toward protecting one’s company. Not only can a premarital contract list what assets are to remain separate property, but terms can also be set as to how shared assets are to be divided if the marriage fails.

Second, drafting and signing a postnuptial agreement can offer various asset protections. This legal document is much like a prenuptial agreement and can be upheld in court. The only difference is that it is a contract that is signed after a couple has already walked down the aisle. Such agreements can be created at any point in a marriage unless divorce is already on the table.

Pre and postnuptial agreements can help keep one’s business in the right hands following divorce. Those interested in such contracts can speak to an experienced family law attorney for more information. For Pennsylvania residents who are already considering divorce and failed to take steps to protect their companies, legal counsel will do everything possible to help them achieve fair and balanced settlement terms that will, hopefully, do minimal damage to their businesses.