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Business Litigation

With today’s international Covid-19 crisis, business disputes may present a substantial financial risk to your business. The impact of business litigation may go beyond the financial risk, often imposing emotional hardships and threatening a company’s culture.

Business litigation is a core practice area. William Clayton has been retained in hundreds, if not thousands, of contentious business disputes involving both large Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller family owned businesses. He is skilled at taking the litigation burden off his clients, so that they can go about business as usual, even in a “bet the company” litigation fight.

William Clayton has been recognized as “Top Attorneys in Business Litigation” in the United States and as “Top Lawyers” in Class Action Litigation. Our team can deliver multi-jurisdictional capabilities with an extensive network of experts to deliver the results you need.

Our attorneys understand the importance of being aggressive in business disputes. Leveraging its experience and litigation skills, Clayton Trial Lawyers LP is able to control the tempo of any dispute and thus efficiently provide you the results you expect and need.

Our lawyers are used to working under pressure and are available anytime to guide you through any type of business dispute. Call us today and allow us to provide you and your business with a new level of legal services.

Protecting Your Business in a Divorce

How can you protect your business in a divorce? 

>When you have built a business during the course of your marriage, you need to protect it during your divorce. Even if your spouse was not personally involved in the business at all, he/she can make a claim to future value and earnings. William Clayton can help you protect your business in a divorce.  

How could a spouse claim part of your business in a divorce? Any growth in the monetary value of your business during your marriage could be considered marital property and your spouse could get half. Yes, even if he/she did not lift a finger to build it. Even if he/she complained about your long hours. When you go through a divorce, you need an attorney like Clayton Trial Lawyers protecting your business.

What could happen to your business in a divorce? The worst-case scenario (which does happen often) is that you have to sell the business in order to pay off your future ex. In trickier situations, you may need to give your spouse half, agree to a lump sum payment or pay him/her a set amount forever. Some divorced business owners have found their former spouses on their board of directors. 

What happens if you co-own a business with your spouse and you are going through a divorce?

When you co-own a business with your spouse, hopefully, you have a detailed contract that outlines what happens in the case of a divorce. If this is not in place then typically one of three things will happen: 1) one spouse will buy out the other; 2) the business is sold with proceeds distributed; 3) The spouses remain co-owners after their divorce is finalized (typically this bring about various problems and should only be done with carefully written legal and business planning). 

How can I protect my business from my ex-wife or ex-husband during a divorce?

  1. Start paying yourself a competitive salary – this takes substantial value out of the business on a regular basis. This also then allows your divorce attorney to move the conversation to alimony.   
  2. Hopefully, you have a prenuptial agreement clearly stating what happens, but if not it may be time to put a post-nuptial agreement in place. 
  3. If you have business partners we need to talk with them immediately to create a plan so that the business will survive the divorce.
  4. We can make sure that all of the contracts of your business including your partnership/ownership agreement, buy/sell agreements and even succession plans are written to protect the business.
  5. Additionally, we can make sure that the assets are legally owned by the business 
  6. Working together we make sure that your business gets a fair valuation. Depending on the size of your operation we can bring in the right accountants, CPAs and financial advisors to help us through this process. Additionally, we can determine if the business can be placed in a trust to protect it through the divorce process.  
  7. If your spouse works for the business we can work together to negotiate an exit strategy for him/her so that it is fair and the business survives that transition.  

It is never too early in the divorce for us to start talking about protecting your business through the divorce process.