Surviving Divorce: Tips for Business Women
Professional Women & Divorce
Studies have found that entrepreneurs, including small business owners, have a high divorce rate. Because of the personal and financial demands of running a business, the stress a business or a demanding role in a business can have on a marriage, and other concerns, business owners and entrepreneurs may find themselvesinvolved in a divorce case.
Another research study by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that professional women who are higher earners than their spouses had a higher likelihood of being unhappy in their marriage and that husbands who made even $5,000 less than their wives were more likely to pursue divorce. Other divorce statistics involving professional women include:
- A study looking at heterosexual couples found that women who became CEOs or got a significant promotion were twice as likely as men in similar positions to be divorced within three years.
- Women whose husbands depend on them may experience infidelity in their relationship. A study by the American Sociology Review found that 15% of men who were financially dependent on their spouses had affairs.
- According to Business Woman Media, entrepreneurs have a 43%-48% divorce rate.
What Businesswomen Should Know About Divorce
If you are a businesswoman or professional woman, you may benefit from the following tips and advice. However, it is also important to note that you should consult with an attorney so you can discuss case-specific concerns and advice.
- It is a mistake to not retain experienced legal counsel. Representing yourself or retaining counsel that is not experienced in cases similar to yours can have a serious impact on your case.
- You should review company ownership. During your divorce, your spouse may try to fight for a share of your business. You should review the company ownership to see whether they have been listed as a partial owner and/or to know whether a share/percentage of your business is at risk.
- You should also review the start and funding of your business. If marital funds have been used to fund or start your business, your business is likely subject to division. You should be prepared to discuss strategies to protect your business with your attorney if it is marital property. You can read our previous blog, “Protecting Your Business in a Divorce,” to get a better idea of how you can protect what you’ve worked so hard for.
- A forensic accountant can help you value your business and have an accurate idea of your income. You should have an accurate valuation of all your assets, including your business. A forensic accountant can not only help you with your business valuation but can help determine your income. Business owners sometimes do not have a clear or set income, and they can use their mathematical and investigative skills to provide you with a clear idea of your income. Your income can be important as it relates to alimony and child support determinations.
- Divorce mediation may be the best option. To protect your business and other interests, you should avoid dismissing the idea of divorce mediation over litigation. While many people do not consider mediation initially, it can give you more autonomy over your divorce settlement terms, including asset division.
- You cannot be discriminated against because of your sex or gender identity. Many professional women worry their sex or career will impact the court’s decisions. However, courts are not allowed to make divorce-related decisions, including custody decisions, based on protected characteristics. Your job can affect custody and alimony decisions; however, you will not be denied custody because of your career but may need to prove that your demanding schedule does not affect your parenting abilities.
High-Quality Representation for Female Professionals
Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office is equipped to help professional women, including entrepreneurs, business owners, and women in business, smoothly navigate their divorce. With over three decades of legal experience, our attorney can discuss your legal options with you and help you understand the unique issues you may face in your case.
Known for providing clients with high-quality, aggressive legal representation, you can trust our team to handle your case and help you develop a personalized legal strategy. We handle a wide variety of divorce-related matters including:
- Child support
- Child custody
- Forensic accounting
- Marital agreements
- Property division
To schedule a case consultation, reach out to our team online or via phone (727) 312-1112.