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Many Michigan business owners have poured their time, money and effort into building a successful venture. Having a significant portion of that investment lost in a divorce can be a difficult pill to swallow. Having a prenuptial agreement in place at the time of marriage is the best way to protect business assets, but that option is not always available. If there is no prenup, it may still be possible to partially shield business assets.

The key to success often lies in having the right documentation. If the matter goes to court, the side that is best able to support his or her position with documentation is often the victor. When preparing for a divorce, organizing and gathering all business records can be among the most important tasks.

Owners should pay themselves a salary out of the business accounts in order to establish the amount that the owner receives from his or her efforts. This also establishes the working budget of the business. It is also important to keep business and personal funds separate. This means avoiding paying for business expenses on a personal account and avoiding covering personal expenses from the business accounts.

When negotiating a divorce settlement or heading to court, it is imperative to have a solid plan of action. Creating a strategy with a Michigan divorce attorney is critical to a successful outcome. While it may not be possible to obtain the same level of protection that a prenuptial agreement would have provided, these and related efforts can help a business owner keep a greater share of the assets that he or she worked so hard to earn.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Essential Steps To Divorce-Proof Your Business", Lisa Helfend Meyer, June 29, 2016

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