Does My Ex-Wife Have Rights To My New Business?

Jennifer Hankinson Dallas Divorce AttorneyQuestion:

I would like some financial advice on divorce on ways to prevent my ex-wife from trying to claim any assets created by a business that was started after we divorced.

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.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Jennifer Hankinson, an attorney in the Dallas, Texas, office of Cordell & Cordell, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Does My Ex-Wife Have Rights To My New Business?

    Hold on!

    The advice given applies ONLY to Texas.

    In Colorado, for example, unless your ex signs a waiver of alimony, or has agreed to non-modifiable alimony, they CAN come back and ask for a payout if you start a successful business after the divorce.

    In a divorce with no alimony, or modifiable alimony, in Colorado, the standard for a modification is “whether there has been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances which renders the original amount unfair.” This applies even if the original amount was zero in Colorado, unless a waiver of alimony was signed.

    Consequently, if you get a raise, or start a business and make a lot more money after the divorce than you made at the time of the divorce, your ex can petition for a modification of the decree and ask for alimony or assets. Yes, this is true. The longer it has been since the divorce the less likely they will get anything, but there was a case here in CO (reversed on appeal thank God) of a woman being awarded a life insurance policy on her ex husband 14 years after the divorce was final! Of course, the judge who made the initial ruling is still on the bench screwing people into the ground, and the denail on appeal ruling was specifically tagged as being not usable as case law.

    This state is completely f**ked.

    This has been another dispatch from planet Alimonyrado…

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