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Divorce involving family business may be tricky to navigate

People in Illinois naturally hope that their marriages will bring them happiness forever, but, unfortunately, divorce is sometimes unavoidable. Divorce is challenging for any couple, but it is especially nightmarish for a couple who co-owns a business. A few tips may help married people who own businesses together navigate the complex divorce process.

A prenuptial agreement can come in handy for protecting one's assets in the event of divorce. This agreement explains how a business will be divided if the couple who owns the business decides to split. Establishing a buy/sell agreement is also a wise move when a married couple first sets up its business, as this is also helpful for protecting one's assets.

If a person going through a divorce has not completed these steps, he or she may benefit from sitting down with his or her future ex-spouse to figure out how they would like to go about dealing with the business. A collaborative divorce process may be used, as it allows both parties to meet in a manner that is non-confrontational to explore options and begin negotiations. Any conflict or family-related issues are managed in a constructive and respectful manner.

Two divorcing individuals may also want to use mediation when addressing a jointly owned business. Through this process, both people can work toward a mutually satisfactory solution. An applied understanding of Illinois law may help people to achieve a settlement that benefits both parties and, if desired, allows the family business to continue to thrive even after the divorce has been finalized.

Source:, "6 Guidelines for Helping Your Business Survive a Divorce", Arkady Bukh, Sept. 30, 2015

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