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Family law: Steps to protect a small business in divorce

Ending a marriage will always be a challenging and often traumatizing process. Dealing with a divorce and other family law matters can be even more daunting when the fate of a small business is at stake. Mississippi is an equitable distribution state when it comes to property division, with the general rule that the spouses must divide their assets in a fair though not necessarily equal manner.

The first steps in protecting a small business are to gather all the relevant business records and documents. These include agreements, financial reports, accounting records and bank statements of the company. A current, fair valuation of the business will also be required.

If the business predates the marriage, will the entire value be considered separate property or will a portion be regarded as marital property? Questions to answer include the time that has passed since the business started, and the increase or decrease in value of the company during the marriage. Documents to show the business assets and cash flow before the wedding will be required. The amount invested before the marriage is essential, along with details of investments and other involvements of the other spouse.

Dividing business assets fairly can be a complicated process. For this reason, many business owners in Mississippi retain the services of an attorney who has experience in all matters involving family law and divorce. Having legal counsel on board from the start can simplify the process. The lawyer can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout the legal proceedings.

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