Non Disclosure Agreements In Divorces—For Your Business
If you have a business that deals in information that has to be kept private or protected from your competitors, you probably have loads of noncompete, nondisclosure or similar agreements. They are probably signed by your employees, contractors, vendors, or sometimes, your customers.
But one person who probably has never signed a nondisclosure, but who may know more about your business than anyone, is your spouse.
You and Your (ex) Spouse
Of course, your spouse doesn’t need to sign a nondisclosure, right? Your spouse has a vested interest in your business’ success. They may even be a shareholder, officer, director, or manager of your business. They wouldn’t ever disclose information to the public that could harm you or your business interests.
That is, until you divorce. The fact is that many people get divorced, and they think of their property, their assets, or their accounts, and what will happen to them and how they will be divided, as they should. But many don’t give much thought to their business.
What happens if, after a divorce, your ex wants to “spill the beans” on your business, the way it operates, its customer lists, its dirty laundry, or any other secret process or procedure that he or she has been privy to throughout the years?
Using the Non Disclosure Agreement
The answer to that problem is a non disclosure agreement. Yes, you can require that a spouse sign a nondisclosure agreement, or other agreements that protect your business’ secrets, in the process of, and as a condition of, your divorce.
Times when you may want to consider a non disclosure agreement as part of your divorce in order to protect your business may be when:
- There are details about your personal life that, if shared by your ex, could harm your business or its reputation
- Your ex has a thirst for revenge or vengeance
- The allegations against you in your divorce are things that could affect your business, whether those allegations are true or not
- You previously disclosed to your ex secrets about the business or how it operates, or your ex worked in the business, and was exposed to facts or circumstances you would rather the public not know or which are considered secret
Do not assume that your family law lawyer will know when a nondisclosure agreement for your business is necessary when you are getting divorced, or that they will suggest that one be signed. Your business lawyer can better advise you, and can draft proposed language that you can provide in your negotiations with your ex while the divorce is going on.
Unlike a traditional nondisclosure, the one for your divorce, to protect your business interests may need the input of both your family lawyer, as well as your business lawyer.
We can help protect your business through all of your life’s events. Call the West Palm Beach business litigation attorneys at Pike & Lustig today.