Hansen Law, PLLC

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Business assets: Planning ahead may be best protection

Not every marriage in Washington lasts a lifetime. Many couples wind up in divorce court. Such situations may be relatively amicable. Others, however, especially those involving business assets, contentious child custody situations or another complicated matter, much less so.

When it comes to protecting what has very likely taken years (even decades, perhaps) to earn, many say the best possible way to do so is to plan ahead. This why some couples choose to sign prenuptial agreements before they tie the knot. Some hesitate to investigate this option on grounds that it sounds unromantic; others, particularly business owners and those who plan to take in substantially high incomes, are more concerned about protecting their future financial stability.

Not every married couple wants to share every penny they earn. In fact, some determine it's best if they keep their incomes separate after marriage. Division of property laws vary by state. Washington happens to be a community property state, so anything earned after marriage (if there isn't a signed prenup stating otherwise) is considered jointly owned and subject to equal division in divorce.

If a Washington spouse plans to launch a company after the wedding day and wishes business assets to remain separate from any jointly owned property, a prenuptial agreement might be a valuable tool to secure this type of plan. A logical step to take if wanting to explore options for protecting one's business interests in a high asset divorce is to contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss the situation. Whether just beginning married life or preparing to end a marriage that has lasted 10 or more years, it's always a little easier to rely on knowledgeable representation.

Source: apracticalwedding.com, "Prenups Are So Misunderstood, Not Even Attorneys Want Them", Accessed on Feb. 8, 2017

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