If you own a business and you are heading into a divorce, you are most likely wondering how you and your business will be affected by the divorce. Outcomes of divorces that include joint business ownership vary based on several components. Considerations and results will be unique to the situation. This is not a one size fits all answer since each couple, just like each business, is unique. 

When you and your spouse have jointly owned a business and you are now considering a divorce, the questions and concerns tend to be two-fold. Not only do we have to consider the family matters of the divorce, we also must consider the business matters. It is common to have many questions, so we have compiled a few of the most common questions below along with answers to provide guidance during this uncertain time. In addition to these Q&As, we highly advise those going through a divorce who are business owners to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer who specializes in businesses and high net worth divorces. If you have questions that are not answered here, please let us know:

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Being a parent is not an easy job. While it is extremely rewarding, it also comes with its own set of challenges. When a couple gets a divorce, child custody can create additional hurdles. For example, creating a custody schedule that both parents are comfortable with and learning to cope when their children are with the other parent may take some getting used to.

Now, when you combine this situation with a global pandemic, the parents and children involved may feel like their world has been turned upside down. If you are currently co-parenting, learning how to deal with the stress and reality of the uncertain environment in addition to custody challenges can be overwhelming to say the least. Regardless of the challenges of co-parenting, it is important for the entire family to manage these circumstances successfully for the sake of all members of the family. These co-parenting tips during COVID-19 may help your family thrive during this challenging time:

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While marriage can be rewarding, it is something that often needs a lot of work and can have its own set of challenges. Similarly, while a family business can be successful, it does not always go smoothly and can take a lot of work from all parties involved. When you combine both a marriage and a family business, it makes sense that there can be times when conflicts arise and working on both your marriage and your family business can be difficult.

It is not unusual for marriages to struggle due to a family business; however, there are ways that you can reduce the risk of divorce if you find yourself in this situation. To help keep your marriage and family business together, we have outlined a few tips below:

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No divorce is easy. Each divorce has its own unique circumstances that could make it feel challenging at times. When you add the addition of a high net worth individual to the mix, the divorce gets even more complex due to all the assets that need to be considered.

If you are in a high net worth marriage and are contemplating divorce, one important piece of advice to keep in mind is: start your divorce off on the right foot by finding the right attorney for your case. You need an attorney that has the right expertise and experience to support you and guide you so you can achieve the outcome most desirable to you. If you are in this situation, here are some tips to help ensure you find the right attorney for your high net worth divorce case:

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If you are married, do you know the legal implications of your marriage?  Do you know your rights and responsibilities in relation to your spouse and relationship?  Many married couples do not, and this is where a marital agreement may come into play.  A marital agreement can be made before a marriage or after a marriage (i.e., prenuptial or postnuptial agreements), and creates open communication about what each spouse expects from the other as well as what will occur in particular situations such as a divorce.  The topic can be uncomfortable to bring up; however, it can help greatly in the event of death or divorce and can ultimately ease anxieties about these unfortunate circumstances.

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When someone thinks of a divorce, they may think of an expensive, drawn-out court battle where important marital property or economic claims are at stake. Many do not know that there is another option that might be better suited to their needs and situation. Instead of going to court, consider divorce mediation. 

Mediation allows you and your spouse to collaborate on a solution to divorce, support, property division, and custody issues outside of court, without relying on a judge to make these decisions for you. A focused and thoughtful mediation environment may lead to a more harmonious resolution to domestic relations issues.

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Prior to making a final decision to seek a divorce, many spouses who experience marital troubles separate or live separate and apart. Living separate and apart or being separated can occur while living in the same residence if there has been a cessation of the marital relationship and communication that the parties are separating. There is no “legal separation” in Pennsylvania; parties are either separated or not per the law of the Commonwealth.

If you are planning on separating from your spouse, you need to be prepared, including communicating the intent to separate and preparing your finances. To help, below are some tips to keep in mind during a separation:

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It is not uncommon for someone to be unaware of the ins and outs of divorce unless they work with the subject on a day-to-day basis. Because of this, if a divorce is something you are considering, you likely have many questions such as: what is involved with a divorce, how are the family assets and liabilities divided, how is support handled, how is child custody determined, how long does the process take, etc. 

Due to the complex nature of divorce, and because every divorce is unique, we highly advise that you lean on an experienced divorce attorney to help you through your divorce process.  In the meantime, below are a few of the most common divorce questions and their answers.

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When planning for a divorce, as you probably already know, finances play a large role in the divorce process. In many cases, the financial aspects of a divorce are usually the most overwhelming on all parties involved. There are many financial topics to take into consideration including, but not limited to, asset distribution, alimony, child support, retirement accounts, pensions, checking accounts, savings accounts, stocks, bonds, offshore investments, and more.

One financial consideration that most people overlook is life insurance. Commonly, individuals are so focused on the emotional toll of divorce and other financial aspects of the marital estate that they do not consider life insurance policies.

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If you know you are approaching a divorce, and are in a high net worth marriage, you may feel stuck because of all the assets, investments, businesses, etc. that you manage or take part in. One of the first questions someone might ask you is if you have a prenuptial agreement with your spouse.  If the answer is no, and even if you do have a prenuptial agreement, you need to take the right steps forward to make sure you protect your interests during your divorce.

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