Have you invested financial resources as well as your sweat, blood, and tears to build a business you can be proud of? As you look forward to your post-divorce life, the last thing you want to see is all your hard work being erased by the ravages of your marriage’s dissolution.
The good news is that losing your business or seeing it dismantled is not a fait accompli. The key to protecting your business is preparation and thorough legal representation from a skilled professional.
There are numerous factors that will play a role in how a family business or closely-held business is treated in divorce.
The Value of The Business
It is crucial to make sure the value of the business is accurately determined by a professional business evaluator. This will be critical in ensuring the final property settlement is in your interest. For example, overvaluing the business or encumbering it with debt could result in you receiving a lesser share of non-business marital assets.
Ownership of the Business
Is ownership of the business being contested by your spouse? If so it will be critical to determine the date the business was established or acquired in relation to the time frame of your marriage. Was the business under your control prior to your marriage? Do existing partnership or shareholder agreements dictate how possession is determined in the event of a divorce?
These are complex issues; it is essential that you consult an experienced attorney who can help you protect your business and non-business interests in divorce.