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Before Rebecca Saltiel Busch launched her health care consulting business a quarter century ago, she sought out the CEOs of 10 various failed business in hope of learning from their mistakes. What she found was that the contributing factor to the demise of these businesses was divorce.
Forewarned, Busch outlined a shareholder agreement that she states saved her thousands of dollars when she divorced and one that placed the interests of the business above the individual shareholder’s interests. The agreement secured her company’s survival and today it still remains solvent.
Busch also detailed a six-step guide to business survival in the face of divorce that may keep other divorcing couples out of bankruptcy court.
1. Planning for the Worst and Hoping for the Best
No couple begins a marriage and a business with divorce in mind, but Busch reveals that it is best to plan ahead. A business evaluation is key and without such legal documentation as a prenuptial or shareholder agreement, the battle over the business may be held up in the courts for years and could ultimately sink the business.
2. Securing Strong Legal Counsel
Busch states that finding a qualified attorney who is committed to working 110 percent to protect your legal rights both in the divorce and in the business is essential. She suggests retaining an attorney who is quick to secure a viable outcome but one who also will fight in the event of a downturn in negotiations.
3. Utilizing Your Support Team
Establishing a strong support team is also important, not only for helping with the emotional turmoil of the divorce but as a sounding board when it comes to testing your strategic moves involving the business. Busch believes that members of your support team should also include professional members of other professions pertinent to your situation.
4. One for All, All for One
Although opposing attorneys may want to hire two business valuation firms, Busch believes the best strategy is to hire one firm that both spouses and attorneys can agree upon. Not only will this keep conflicts in check but it will also save between $10,000 to $25,000 in additional fees.
5. The Lesser of Two Evils
There are several options for business after divorce. Busch suggests that perhaps one spouse should have a slighter higher interest in the business post divorce to once again squash ongoing conflict. To perhaps equal the playing field, consider stock options or both spouses continuing their roles within the company if possible.
6. Life after Divorce
Even if the business valuation and divorce proceedings go smoothly there will be a certain amount of emotional fallout from the divorce. By keeping emotions and financial solvency in check the business and the couple may thrive post-divorce, although there are no guarantees.
Divorce in itself is complex in nature but adding a viable business into the mix not only increases the complexity of the process but requires a highly knowledgeable attorney. For those facing this situation, the experienced Hinsdale divorce attorneys of Martoccio & Martoccio are skilled in handling not only a complex divorce but also a complex business valuation. Our legal team will carefully examine all financial aspects of the business to reach a fair business valuation as well as arriving at an adequate settlement. Contact our office to schedule your no charge consultation today.