I would like to start a new business with my new wife, but my ex-wife is claiming she will be able to get a portion of whatever money my new business brings in.
Would my ex-wife have any claim to a business started by my new wife and I? Would it matter if the business is in my name or my new wife’s name?
Since I am only licensed to practice law in Texas I cannot provide you legal advice on divorce, but I can provide you with some divorce tips for men on how Texas courts would generally treat your situation.
Under Texas law, after a divorce decree is entered, it becomes a final judgment on the 31st day after the divorce decree is signed by the court. Tex. R. Civ. P. 329(b).
Once the decree of divorce is final the divorce proceeding has concluded. The fact that a divorce decree is modifiable in regards to conservatorship or child support does not preclude it from being considered final.
However, even after the expiration of the court’s plenary jurisdiction to grant a new trial, vacate, modify, correct or reform the judgment expires, the court still retains an inherent power to clarify or enforce a divorce decree.
Thus, even on the 31st day the court can clarify or enforce the decree, but cannot amend, modify, alter or substantively change the division of property made or approved in the decree.
As such, any property you acquire post-marriage, such as a business is not later divisible by the court from your previous finalized divorce.
As such, given your facts, your ex-wife would not have rights to your business, nor would a court divide such a business that did not exist during the marriage.
Since I do not know the specifics of your situation, I cannot advise you on how to best protect yourself in this current situation. Please be advised that my answering of this question does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Consult with a mens divorce attorney in your area.