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27 Nov 2023 Roadmap for entrepreneurs in divorce.

Navigating the complex legal aspects of a (divorce) requires not only knowledge, but also a thoughtful approach. This is once again true for entrepreneurs. As a divorcing entrepreneur, you are faced with important decisions that can affect not only your private situation but, more importantly, your business. Finding the right legal advice is crucial to making the consequences of divorce as smooth as possible.

By following these steps, you can make confident and well-informed decisions about which route best suits your situation. The aim is to help you deal with an expert legal team that not only understands the complexity of your case, but is also able to look after your interests and guide you through this challenging period.

Step 1: Identify your needs

Determine what specific legal advice you need as a divorcing business owner. This may include business splits, property division, contract termination, etc.

Step 2: Check out SPEE lawyers & mediation's website

Go to the website and view profiles, specialisations, experience, and testimonials from previous clients. Look at the information about our lawyers. Check out each one's background, experience, and you will see that we have the right specialists. Especially for entrepreneurs, the combination of our family law specialists and corporate law specialist is a huge advantage.

Step 3: Get in touch

Use the contact information on the website to make an appointment for an initial consultation.

Step 4: Prepare for the interview

Make a list of questions and make sure you have as much relevant documentation and information on hand for the interview with the lawyer.

Step 5: Discuss your case

During the appointment, discuss your situation with us. Ask questions, share details and listen to our advice. See if you feel a click and if we understand your case well. We will actively listen to your story, identify and understand the business structure, as well as the parties involved and the nature of the divorce. We are confident that after the initial meeting, you will come to the conclusion that our firm is the best choice for your case. If you are satisfied with the lawyer and the plan we propose, make a decision to work with us.

Step 6: The assignment

After you commission us, we will ask you for all relevant documentation relating to your private situation and your business, such as contracts, financial statements, ownership structures, and any other data and documents that may be relevant to the divorce. We will analyse the documents provided and assess, based on what we have discussed and the available documentation and your legal position as a divorcing entrepreneur. potential risks, conflicts of interest and possible solutions will be identified. Different strategies and options are discussed with the separating entrepreneur. We explain the possible routes, including negotiation, mediation, collaborative divorce or court proceedings, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each route. Together, we will identify which issues you will need to think about as a divorcing entrepreneur. Think about partner and/or child maintenance, the care arrangement for the children and a parenting plan. But also what about the division of the home or other real estate? What happens to pension entitlements? And above all: your business.

Step 7: Taking stock of the company

If you and your partner have a general partnership (vof), then the value and assets of the business are usually eligible to be divided. Often, in the case of a 'husband-wife firm', a vof is set up for tax reasons. Together with you, we will discuss the possibilities of dissolving the vof or converting it into a sole proprietorship, or, on the contrary, continuing the vof.

Or do you actually have a sole proprietorship? Even then, the business plays a role in the division, unless you have excluded it in your prenuptial agreement. Under the standard rules, your partner is entitled to half the value of the business, unless otherwise stipulated in prenuptial agreements or if you married under limited community of property after 1 January 2018.

On the contrary, perhaps you own shares in a private limited company (bv)? If so, the shares of this BV may play a role in the division after divorce or the settlement of prenuptial agreements. The value of the shares will have to be determined. If your partner, like you, is also a shareholder of the bv, and he/she wants to renounce these shares, or if you want to take over the shares, these shares should first be offered to you and any other co-shareholders. Unless the articles of association of the bv stipulate otherwise. A notarial deed is required for the transfer of shares, even after divorce. Many people forget to arrange this via a notarial deed precisely when they divorce. Together with you, we will discuss how best to deal with the shares of your BV after divorce and what exactly needs to be done. .

Step 8: the route

We conduct negotiations on your behalf as the divorcing entrepreneur and communicate regularly about the progress and developments in your case. We will always strive for a solution that promotes the interests of you as the divorcing entrepreneur. If agreements are reached, we will support you as a divorcing entrepreneur in their implementation, including drafting legally binding contracts to promote compliance.

If consultations and negotiations do not lead to binding agreements or if court proceedings seem inevitable, we prepare you for trial. We represent you in court, argue your case and present all relevant evidence and arguments in favour of your interests.

Step 9: Aftercare and follow-up

We provide after-care to you as a divorcing business owner after the divorce process is completed by ensuring that all legal aspects have been handled correctly and any further steps, such as transfers or follow-up actions, are carried out.

During this complex and emotional time in divorces with a business component, our team of experienced lawyers is ready to guide and support you. At SPEE Lawyers & Mediation, we understand the unique challenges facing divorcing business owners. We strive to provide legal solutions that not only lay a solid foundation for a new phase in your personal life, but also, and most importantly, protect your business interests. With expert advice both specialist family lawyers and specialist corporate law lawyers, dedicated representation and a focus on your specific needs, we will help you navigate this period of transition as smoothly as possible. Contact our specialist family law lawyer Mr Angelique van den Eshoff today for a confidential discussion.

SPEE advocaten & mediation Maastricht


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