If you are a business owner who has decided to end your marriage or your spouse has approached you about divorce, you need an attorney. It is important to work with someone who not only understands the divorce process but who also knows what it takes to protect a family business.
The approach to dealing with a family business and keeping your divorce from affecting the business depends on your specific arrangement. If you own a business with your spouse, there is little chance the divorce will not affect your business arrangement, even in a minor way. If you own a business separate from your spouse and you want to make sure your divorce does not damage the business, you will be taking an entirely different approach.
Owning a Business with Your Former Spouse
If you and your soon-to-be-ex owned a business together, there are a few things you can do if your marriage ends in divorce:
Your first option is to continue co-owning the business and running it together. Your divorce might have very little bearing on the business, as long as you are still able to behave professionally and maintain a successful business. You will both keep your interest in the business and remain in contact with one another as business owners.
Your second option is to buy out your spouse’s half of the business or have him or her do, so for your half of the business. In this case, the business would be considered an asset in the divorce and would be treated as such. You will need to have the business valued by an appraiser and then create an arrangement that accommodates the buy-out in the divorce settlement.
Your third option is to sell the business and split the process. It would be divided like any other asset according to your divorce settlement.
No matter which of these three options you choose, if you co-own a business with your spouse and you are moving forward with divorce, it is important to speak to an attorney who can help you through the process.
Owning a Family Business that is Separate from Your Spouse
Your soon-to-be-former spouse cannot force you to sell a business you own outright or with other family members. However, the income you earned from that business will likely be part of the divorce settlement, at least in part.
As a business owner, it is essential you work with an attorney who understands the process of dividing assets in divorce and protecting what is rightfully yours. Your ex will have some claim to your assets, but you want someone to help you mitigate the damage as much as possible.
No matter your situation, you are getting divorced; it is important for you to work with an experienced divorce attorney who will help you make decisions and guide you through the process. If you are a business owner dealing with the end of your marriage, the support of an experienced attorney is even more important. Peter Wifler can help. For more information or to schedule a time to speak to Peter about your situation, contact him at 847-438-6153.