DIVORCE CAN BE A WHOLE DIFFERENT ANIMAL FOR STARTUP FOUNDERS
Both Silicon Valley and California in general enjoy a large number of individuals working in startup companies in technology and innovation. While not everyone who founds a startup will see a great windfall, many do. This can make divorce exceptionally complex. If you are considering divorcing in California and a startup is in the equation, you need very specific, experienced legal counsel to protect your rights and ensure a fair settlement.
California maintains some laws that make dividing marital property difficult and frustrating — especially when the assets you and your spouse are dividing are complex, such as stock in a company. Under state law, the assets a person acquires prior to marriage are separate, but most assets one acquires during a marriage must be split equally.
This can make divorce a very expensive proposition if your financial situation changed significantly while your were married. You may also find that some assets that you owned prior to marriage changed in nature or value during the marriage in such a way that your spouse believes that he or she deserves a portion of their value. Furthermore, when it comes to technology startups, many assets a person may possess are quite intangible, such as intellectual property. Arriving at a fair division of assets when some of the assets are as intangible as business secrets requires very careful guidance.
If you are facing divorce and believe that the process may be a complicated one, you should not wait to secure sound legal counsel. Otherwise, you could become caught in a protracted, expensive process that keeps you from moving froward and creating a fresh start.
With proper guidance from an experienced attorney, you can rest assured that your divorce will be fair and professional, while keeping your rights and future secure.
Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Why Silicon Valley divorces can be especially pricey splits,” Gina Hall, April 20, 2017