How Do You Save Your Marriage from Your Startup? Who Gets the Company in the Divorce?
Excerpt From Inc. Magazine
“Maintaining a marriage is hard enough as it is. The national divorce rate is at an all-time high, and it has doubled for Americans over age 35 in the past two decades, according to an April report by researchers at the University of Minnesota. Nearly half of all people who have been married undergo a divorce or separation by their late 50s. Though there has been scant research on the topic of entrepreneurs and divorce, many founders say that the overwhelming pressures and demands of launching a company have wreaked havoc on their marriages. What’s worse, a failed marriage can all too easily destroy even a thriving entrepreneurial business.
Even some of the most successful entrepreneurs have experienced marital failure. Last year, Google co-founder Sergey Brin separated from his wife, Anne Wojcicki, the co-founder of DNA-testing company 23andMe. In 2010, Wynn Resorts founders Steve and Elaine Wynn got divorced–for the second time. And Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has been divorced twice since 2010.
Nine states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin) have community property laws that dictate all assets accumulated by the couple during the marriage be split down the middle. That includes company stock. In some cases, companies have been sold to raise cash to pay off spouses. In others, brawling exes have been forced to become business partners.
Even if you try to shield your spouse from the daily travails of running a company–the nearly missed payrolls and the personnel problems–those pressures have a way of following you home.”
Read the full article here.
The Grady Firm, P.C. is a full-service law firm catering to business owners and their families. As the “pre-nup attorney for businesses,” founder Jennifer Grady, Esq. and her team of attorneys in the Business Advising Department draft Bylaws, Operating Agreements, Buy/Sell Agreements, and Shareholder Agreements to protect their entrepreneur clients from their partnerships going awry. The Grady Firm’s Estate Planning Department protects business owners’ assets through trusts and asset protection methods.
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