Many people in the Rockford area and throughout Illinois support themselves through a family business, an enterprise which they have built from scratch or from some other form of self-employment. Often, a person’s business is more than just a source of income. It is a living symbol of years of time and effort. Moreover, one’s interest in a business, including a family business, can be a significant source of wealth.
It may, therefore, be of utmost importance for a Rockford resident to be able to protect this valuable asset in the event of a divorce or legal separation. For that matter, even unmarried couples who have been together for a number of years may find themselves entangled in a business dispute, especially if both parties contributed money or time to the business.
One way the owner of a small business can protect her asset is via a prenuptial agreement. Depending on the circumstances, a postnuptial agreement or some other contractual arrangement can accomplish the same purpose.
As this blog has discussed before, a prenuptial agreement, which may also be called a premarital agreement, is enforceable in Illinois so long as the couple follows certain rules. As is the case with just about any property, a couple can use a premarital agreement to specify in detail what will happen to either party’s business interests should they split.
For that matter, these agreements can be useful for even happily married couples who wish to clarify how their business will be handled should either die. In fact, some closely held businesses may insist that a shareholder sign a prenuptial agreement should he decide to marry.