Your Business is My Business… After Divorce

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You can’t quite have joint custody or visitation rights with a family-owned business. So, does the end of marriage mean the end of a family business?

It might, but it doesn’t necessarily need to. There are few steps you can take to have a better chance at securing your family business while going through a divorce.

  • Establish the true value of your business through a valuation expert, who can appraise the value of your business at different stages, such as at the beginning of your marriage and at the time of divorce. Accurate valuations can be very important when negotiating a settlement with your spouse.
  • You should understand whether the court will consider your business as separate property or marital property.  In most cases, if the business was started before the marriage, the value of the business is considered separate property, but any increase in the value of the business during the marriage would be considered martial property. On the other hand, if the business began after the marriage, it would be considered a marital asset to be divided equitably between you and your spouse.
  • Understand your options.  An experienced divorce lawyer can walk you through a number of different options for your joint business, including transition to difference management roles to keep the business co-owned, selling the business and dividing the profits, or seeing a buy-out payment schedule.

Forbes magazine weighs in on this issue. While it specifically focuses on women in the divorce process, the tips are useful for anyone with a family owned business who is going through a divorce.

The thought of losing a family run business can be very distressing. The experienced Sterling Heights divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Boyer Dawson & St. Pierre can take some of the pressure off by advising and guiding you throughout your divorce process.  Don’t hesitate to contact us online or call the firm at 888.559.4705.

Posted in Divorce and Custody