Divorcing couples have a lot of assets and property to divide. If either or both of you are business owners, your company is probably one of the most important concerns during the divorce. Even if you started the business before you were married, your spouse may have a claim to part of the company because of its increasing value during the marriage. However, you can take steps to protect your interests in keeping the company through the divorce.
1. Do not use personal expenses for company matters.
You should keep your business separate from any personal finances. If you use personal money for company matters, your spouse may be able to claim the value of those expenses back during divorce or the company could be considered marital property due to your marital income being connected to the company. This could give your spouse much more claim to its value during property division.
2. Get a professional valuation.
As you head into the property division process, you need to know exactly what your business is worth. A valuation can also determine what your spouse can claim in the company’s value. This assessment helps you plan financially for your business’ future and prevents your property division from becoming guesswork or an unfair distribution.
3. Offer assets in place of ownership.
If you and your spouse were business partners, it may be difficult to continue after a divorce. The tension can make it nearly impossible to work with them every day, even if you are no longer married. Other times, the spouse does not have ownership but may try to claim part of the company as marital property or try to have the business sold to divide the value.
One solution is to offer to sell other assets and belongings to pay your spouse for full ownership of the company. This way, they still get the share they deserve but you are able to keep the business you have worked so hard to create.
4. Choose a reliable attorney.
One of the most difficult parts of divorce for business owners is keeping their company thriving during the process. Trying to split your attention between divorce matters and company health is exhausting and your business will usually suffer for it.
By working with an experienced attorney who has dealt with businesses in divorce, you can trust them to handle the legal matters and work for the best outcome while you ensure that your company continues to run smoothly.