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How may a bookkeeper protect your business in divorce?

Your dream of running your own business could be in serious jeopardy if your spouse asks for a divorce. If your spouse has a large enough entitlement to the value of your business, you may have to sell your enterprise to give your spouse his or her share. However, if you have a bookkeeper working for you, you might avoid this outcome.

According to Chron, having someone handle your books may give you important support if your spouse tries to claim some of your business value. This support may come through in a number of ways.

Explaining matters to the court

A professional bookkeeper can be an asset if you need to explain your business finances in divorce court. As a professional, your bookkeeper likely has a solid understanding of how to maintain financial records, plus your bookkeeper may be able to explain your business finances better than you can. You might consider asking your bookkeeper to describe your payroll and other relevant financial information to the court on your behalf.

Tracking your finances

Mixing your personal and business finances can open the door for your spouse to claim a share of your business. This may happen if you receive money from your business, place it into your personal account, and then invest it into your business again.

Moving your money in this way may lead your spouse to suspect you are trying to hide money that you would have to divide in a divorce settlement. However, your bookkeeper could produce records that show that you have been keeping business and personal spending separate from each other, helping to invalidate your spouse’s claims.

Establishing your salary

Some business owners do not invest their earnings into their households and instead put their earnings back into their companies. However, doing so could cause your spouse to claim that you have neglected your household. As a result, a judge may award your spouse some of your business value.

To counter such a claim, your bookkeeper may show that you have paid yourself a fair market salary and that you never invested it back into your business. These are just a few examples of how having someone keep track of your business spending may make a crucial difference.

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