A: If your divorce is final, any new venture you embark upon, or property you acquire, should be safe from the claims of a former spouse, says Edward L. Winer, a family-law specialist with Moss & Barnett in Minneapolis. Your legal exposure is subject to the laws of the state where your divorce was granted, however, so you should consult with your attorney personally before you go forward.
As a general rule, however, anyone who has been through a divorce should make a point of screening any new financial ventures with legal counsel, Winer says. "A person paying alimony, or still subject to the risk of paying alimony, may face postdivorce legal action to increase the amount of alimony if the new venture is successful," he says. So, just to be safe, talk to your lawyer before launching your new business.
If you're still in the midst of a divorce, you would definitely want to get legal advice on whether it's advisable to expand an existing business or start a new one. It may be better to wait until the marital split has been finalize rather than run the risk of having to share new assets with a soon-to-be ex.
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