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How to Protect Your Business in a Utah Divorce: Part 1 of 2

by Norris Law Group on December 18, 2013

divorce-business-bkt_3999If you are a business owner, the business is likely your most valuable asset. You and your clients may even believe that “you are your business.” 

Are you aware, however, that you might be doing things that could ultimately put your business at risk if you and your spouse were to divorce? Depending upon a number of factors, your spouse may be entitled to as much as 50 percent of your business in the event of a divorce. If you would rather not have your ex-spouse as your business partner, there are steps you can take now to protect your Utah business.

Inc. Magazine suggests that you begin by learning how your state views separate (non-marital) property and joint (marital) property. The Utah State Courts defines and deals with non-marital property as follows:

“Property owned by the spouses before the marriage or received by gift or inheritance during the marriage is usually not considered to be marital property. Generally, each party gets to keep their non-marital property, unless that property has been combined with marital property or is used in such a way that it takes on the legal status of marital property.”

Marital property is considered to be any property which has been acquired by the spouses during the marriage and owned jointly as a couple.

For example, if a wife is given a car by her parents, and her name is on the title and she is the only who uses it, it may be considered to be non-marital property. But if the car is used by both spouses throughout the course of the marriage, it may fall under the category of marital property. Homes, too, are often considered to be marital property, owned equally by both parties in a marriage.

In the next installment, we will provide some specific legal strategies you can implement to protect your business in the event of a divorce.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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