If I am added to a business agreement/partnership, does my wife have to be added on as well?

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If I am added to a business agreement/partnership, does my wife have to be added on as well?

If so, what rights will my wife have to the business in the event of a divorce? I am trying to be added to a business contract splitting a company 34%, 33%, 33%, with myself being 1 of the 33%. The 2 others are worried about what will happen in the event of a divorce, as I am the only one who is married. They feel as if my wife would be able to attain my portion of the company, should she attempt to do so. I am inquiring as to what legal rights would she have if I sign onto the company (she will not be physically signed on ). In addition, is there a form she can sign to excluding herself?

Asked on November 22, 2011 under Business Law, Arizona

Answers:

Steven Fromm / Steven J Fromm & Associates, P.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

To avoid problems with unintended partners where one dies, the usual solution is to enter into a shareholders or partnership agreement.  This agreement will force an estate to sell the shares to the other partners or to the entity.  This agreement will in addition to death, deal with disability, retirement, separation of service and forced sales where the partners does something illegal and/or outrageous.  You and your partners need to retain a tax/corporate attorney to draft this form of agreement.  This will avoid disputes down the road and will prevent wifes being part of business.


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