Russ Cook & Associates, PC
view our Practice areas

Running a family business? Protect it from a potential divorce

People don't start businesses hoping they fail; they don't marry hoping to divorce. However, both are events that can happen when people take the plunge into marriage or business ownership.

As such, it is crucial to take these possibilities into consideration and make a plan to recover if they should happen. One especially important decision is to complete some comprehensive succession planning.

What does this mean?

Business succession planning involves determining what will happen to business operations and ownership if an owner passes away, retires or divorces.

Consider the recent announcement that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife of 25 years are divorcing. Reports suggest that the couple did not have a prenup, as Amazon didn't even exist when they got married. As such, people speculate that Bezos' wife MacKenzie will get half of the marital property, including Amazon. However, whether Bezos took other steps to protect Amazon in the event of divorce is unknown.

What will ultimately happen remains to be seen, of course. Though, this situation is a good reminder that succession planning is crucial when a business is a marital asset.

What can I do?

As this article notes, there are numerous options for what owners can do to shield a business from a divorce. The suggestions include:

  • Separating business and marital finances
  • Keeping unnecessary spousal participation in the business to a minimum
  • Signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to clarify ownership of the business
  • Having a buy-sell agreement in place 

These and other solutions can make it easier to protect the future of a company, whether your goal is to keep a business in the family, protect the business from being sold or prevent divorced spouses from having to run the business together.

Understandably, this can be a complicated topic. Not only are there business logistics to examine, but there may also be family tensions and marital relationships that make the discussions even more complex. Rather than let this stop you from creating an effective plan, you can work with an attorney who can help to make this process easier and less dramatic.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • Star

    “I recently moved to TN from MN and needed to re-do my trust documents, including a pet trust, to be compliant with TN law, and to find an entity able to act as my trustee. Russ and his staff were able to answer all of my questions quickly and efficiently, and I am comfortable and confident in Russ's representation and that my new documents will act as they are intended, when the time comes. They even put me in touch with a trustee who was involved in the process as well, which was so helpful. This was a big item on my move "to-do" list, and I am so pleased to have it completed!”

    - Kim J.
  • Star

    “We would definitely recommend Russ and any of his Associates. They are all very professional, efficient and well versed in Estate Planning.”

    - Cheryl H.
  • Star

    “Experienced, Knowledgeable, Friendly, Professionals all work here. I'm grateful my parents used this firm to create and maintain their Trust throughout the years. Working with the folks at Russ Cook & Associates, primarily Alex, Debby and Trina made the process comfortable working through Probate, Estate assets and Executing the Trust.”

    - Kemp S.
  • Star

    “Excellent work. They worked with us and never allowed us to miss a deadline. We definitely appreciated their help and would gladly recommend them to anyone seeking help with their estate planning.”

    - Mark S.
  • Star

    “Everyone we came in contact with was wonderful. The staff and Russ treated us like family at all times.”

    - June S.
  • Star

    “Being new to the area having moved from out of state, I was searching for an attorney to assist in elder estate planning for my mother. I was referred to Russ Cook & Associates and found the firm as a whole and Russ Cook himself to be very helpful and accommodating to my needs, as well as experienced and very knowledgeable on the matter I was seeking assistance. I would definitely recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Brad H.
  • Star

    “Mr. Cook and his staff were phenomenal to work with on my will. They are extremely professional and friendly and made the process seamless. They go above and beyond!”

    - Amber C.
  • Star

    “Russ took the time to answer my questions by email, so that I knew exactly what would take place when I visited his office and his time as well as mine was used efficiently. I appreciated his thoroughness and his professionalism, as well as that of his staff.”

    - JoAnn G.
  • Star

    “Overwhelmingly positive experience.”

    - Stephen W.
  • Star

    “I have been a client for many years. Russ and his staff listen to our concerns, come up with a plan and help us act on it with guidance and professionalism. I'd highly recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Dr. S. D'Amico
Email Us For A Response

Schedule An Initial Consultation Today

Contact us today to schedule a consultation by sending us an email or by calling 615-200-9117.
We assist clients throughout the Nashville area.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Brand Contact

5141 Virginia Way
Suite 220
Brentwood, TN 37027

Phone: 615-200-9117
Fax: 615-370-5938
Brentwood Law Office Map

Office Hours:
Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Summer Hours Office:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM on Fridays
May 24th Through August 30th

Map Image