Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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Divorce has major challenges when you own a startup

Most people think of Silicon Valley as the home of the startup, but New York can give them a run for their money. Many New Yorkers have embraced the startup lifestyle by founding and running their own businesses.

As any entrepreneur can tell you, running a startup can be affect every area of life—financial, psychological and romantic. Many entrepreneurs’ startups do not survive. And because running a startup can be all-consuming, neither do many entrepreneurs’ marriages. Divorce is very different for entrepreneurs who have a startup than it is for most Americans. These are a few challenges to be aware of if you own a startup and are thinking of getting a divorce.

Think long-term

When you founded your startup, you weren’t focused solely on immediate profit. You were also considering your company’s long-term wellbeing. You should also focus on the long-term implications of your divorce. When reaching a divorce arrangement, be sure to consider your long-term financial goals, needs and lifestyle.

Don’t let your personality get in the way

Entrepreneurs are often ambitious, charismatic, outgoing and unconventional. As a result, many entrepreneurs can have very strong personalities. In the business world, having a strong personality can go a long way in getting a startup off the ground. But in a romantic relationship, it can contribute to a lot of tension. If you and your spouse are clashing over your divorce, try to reign in your personality.

Prepare to divide property

One of the most challenging aspects of a divorce is property division. You and your spouse will have to divvy up your assets and property. This process may include valuing your startup. Depending on how long you were married, your spouse’s occupation and whether you had a prenuptial agreement, your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be entitled to some of your startup-related assets.

Understand your legal options

Divorce can be a painful, confusing experience. You are excellent at running a startup, but probably not as experienced when it comes to New York divorce laws. It is always important to understand your legal options. This can help you protect your best interests—and the best interests of your startup—in a divorce.

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