Oshawa Family Lawyers for Business Owners

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you are likely driven and tenacious and work hard to make your business succeed.  To continue to thrive, your business requires legal protection and constant risk assessment and management.  As part of your risk management strategy, it is important to consider how you might protect your business if you were faced with separation or divorce.

At Borden Family Law in Oshawa, our family lawyers and legal professionals understand the significant impact family law disputes can have on a business venture.  We have extensive experience advising both public and private corporations.  We have helped small business owners in the Durham area, as well as owners of large corporations. In each instance, our clients’ needs vary – and with each interaction, we build our knowledge and expertise to help you. We pride ourselves on efficiently addressing any legal issues that arise, and in keeping clients continuously informed, so you have a clear understanding of how we are working for you. We will help you proactively manage any problems so you can get back to running your business.

 Separation and Divorce for Business Owners

If you owned a business during the time of your marriage or common-law relationship, that business may be divided at the time of separation or divorce along with your other assets.

Following the breakdown of a marriage, a valuation of your business will be carried out in order to determine its worth.  If your relationship was common-law, you will not need to divide the value of the business unless your common-law spouse jointly owned the business with you.  However, if you were married, the value of all your assets – including your business and /or professional practice – will be divided evenly between you and your spouse as part of the equalization process.  If your business is more valuable than your spouse’s other assets and you would like to keep the business, you will be required to pay your spouse an equalization payment.  In addition, if your business provides an income to you that is greater than your spouse’s income, you may owe spousal support.  Where the annual income is difficult to determine (as is sometimes the case with business owners and entrepreneurs), accountants may be required to review your business annually.

Prenuptial Agreements for Business Owners

Your business can be sheltered from the equalization process if you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that specifically addresses how the business will be treated in the event of a marital breakdown.  A shareholders’ agreement can also address any future family law issues if there is more than one shareholder in a corporation.  For example, spouses of the shareholders can become parties to the shareholders’ agreement and declare to exclude the corporation from the division of marital assets.  Finally, if both spouses are shareholders in a corporation, the shareholders’ agreement can appoint one spouse as having the right to purchase the shares of the other spouse in the case of separation or divorce.

It is critical to get sound advice regarding the protection of your business as soon as you are considering a separation or divorce in order to understand your rights and plan accordingly.

Estate Planning for Business Owners

If you are a business owner, it is important to think proactively and consider how your business, its assets, and its revenues will be disposed of after your death.  Proactive planning for all eventualities will require comprehensive estate planning, including wills or family trusts.  When planning for the future, there are many issues to consider, such as:

  • Providing an income to your family
  • Power of attorney (another person acting on your behalf)
  • Succession planning (who is taking over the business?)
  • Tax considerations

At Borden Family Law, we understand the intricacies of these complex family law issues because family law, including peripherally related areas such as estate planning and certain aspects of real estate law, is what we exclusively focus on.  We can provide you with targeted assistance and guidance to give you peace of mind about the future of your business and your family.

Strategic Oshawa Family Lawyers Advising Business Owners on Managing Risks Posed by Family Law Disputes

If you are a business owner, entrepreneur or professional and are concerned about how a family dispute may affect your business, contact the experienced family lawyers at Borden Family Law in Oshawa. To protect your business or professional practice from the risk of divorce, or to plan for the future of your business and family, call us at 905-597-6090, or contact us online. Ask about our bundled services and flat fees.