It depends - do you want her to have ownership of 50% of the business?
Trying to handle a divorce on your own when there are significant assets involved is a very dangerous undertaking.
Neither a divorce nor starting a business are things to do without a lawyer.
Whether you would need to wait depends in great part on what is being done in the divorce. There are strategic questions there as well as the basic legal one.
Assets acquired during the marriage are subject to equitable division. If you start a new business now from scratch, then you don't have a lot to worry about, as the business would have little to no value. The question becomes more complicated if you are investing any marital assets into this business. If you are planning on investing monies into the business that could be classified as marital monies, I suggest you hold off on starting the business until after the divorce is final. If you are planning on starting it from scratch, then there is less concern of the business getting tied into your divorce.
Regarding your current divorce, I suggest you consult with an attorney about structuring your Settlement Agreement so that you maximize your benefits and protect any future debt / liability issues. Many attorneys and law firms will even offer you a free initial consultation to answers any questions that you have.
As others have pointed out in their responses, there are many complex issues involved in the issue of division of interest in a business begun during a marriage as part of a divorce proceeding. It is well worthwhile to consult an attorney with experience in equitable division issues before proceeding with the divorce.
That having been said, to the extent that you and your wife are able to reach agreement regarding the division of assets, it is possible, as part of a settlement agreement, for the parties to agree that you will retain all rights and interests in the business. If, however, you and your wife are not able to agree on this, the interest in the company would, in all likelihood, be subject to division as part of the divorce. In the event you and your wife do not reach agreement regarding division of the business, there would be issues regarding the value of the business, as well as what would represent an "equitable" division of the asset between the parties.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this response is not intended to and shall not create an attorney-client relationship with Briskin, Cross & Sanford, LLC or Byron M. G. Sanford, Esq. This answer also is not intended to serve as legal advice and is offered solely for educational purposes.
You definitely need an attorney. You've gotten several good answers here. If you are starting a business, you need a lawyer for that, and it is usually a mistake to attempt a divorce without one.
She definitely might seek some of the business. Proper paperwork will help prevent that.
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