Many family lawyers are seeing a significant increase in the signing of prenuptial agreements for business owners who believe that their business concerns could grow to such a level that, in the event of a divorce, they would have too much to lose.
Traditionally pre-nups are driven by one partner already having a considerable fortune. However many are now insuring themselves against divorce in case their business is successful. There seemed to be a life pattern for many entrepreneurs of working hard and making their fortune while in their twenties and early thirties before finding the time to settle down and marry in their late thirties.
While pre-nups are still commonplace amongst those individuals, people from sectors such as media, technology and private sector industries are taking up this option more frequently.
The action is understandable, to a degree, as business plans put in place before marriage – or even before a couple meet – have been influenced minimally by the partner. Therefore, it seems fair to argue that they because they have had little impact on the success of a business they should receive little from it.
On the other hand, even a business that is beginning to take off at the time of marriage, there is likely to be sacrifice from the non-entrepreneurial partner. Therefore it could be argued that even although they had no direct input into the success or otherwise of the business, the partner should be due some form of compensation in the event of divorce as a stakeholder who has invested in non-monetary terms.
While it is of course sensible to make plans should your marriage not work out as desired – and a prenuptial agreement certainly helps with that – some have facetiously suggested that in the case of the entrepreneurs, they have more faith in the their business plan surviving rather than their marriage.
Of course, nobody marries with the intention of divorcing in the future. However ring-fencing your business may be an extremely sensible idea, and pre-nups have been found to make the whole unfortunate experience less painful.
If you are about to marry and have a business that you believe could take off but don’t have a pre-nup in place, then it is worthwhile speaking to our expert divorce solicitor, Venisha Shah, on 020 8956 2655 or at email@example.com to find out what your options are and what you could stand to lose should things not work out.
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