You and other small business owners in Ohio are proud of the work and time you invested in making your business successful. You may also have employees who depend on you, who might now be worried about their livelihood if you are going through a divorce. How your business is divided depends on whether you started your business before or after you got married, as well as numerous other factors.

In an equitable property state like Ohio, the courts determine what is fair and equitable, but not necessarily exactly equal, in a divorce. As FindLaw explains, your business is likely to be considered marital property if you and your spouse jointly owned the company or operated it together. This is especially true, although not always the case, if you started the company after you were married, even if your intent was to be the sole owner and operator. For example, if your spouse took care of household responsibilities while you built the company, this may qualify the business as marital property, because it involved your spouse committing time and effort to the company’s success. This can be the case if you started the business before or after getting married.

Having a prenuptial agreement may protect your assets, including a business. Since situations change during a marriage, it is also not uncommon for couples to make a post-nuptial agreement. Property division is often highly complex. Therefore, the information in this blog is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.