August 1, 2022

What Happens to the Family Business in a Divorce?

No one likes to think about the possibility of divorce, but it is a reality that many couples face. If you are facing divorce and own a business, you may wonder what will happen to your company. Following are several potential options. Whatever you decide, it is important to seek experienced legal guidance to protect your interests and ensure a fair outcome for the property.

Selling The Business

If you and your spouse decide to sell the business, there are a few steps you'll need to take. First, you'll need to hire a business appraiser to determine the company's fair market value. Once you have an accurate valuation, you can list the business for sale and start entertaining offers from potential buyers. If you can find a buyer willing to pay your asking price, you can then move forward with the sale and split the profits between you and your spouse. Selling the business may be the best option if you're looking for a quick and easy way to exit the company.

Taking Over The Business

Another option is for one of you to buy the other out. This can be a good way to avoid lengthy and costly litigation. However, a professional valuation will be necessary to determine the business's fair market or property value. Otherwise, there is potential for conflict if one side feels that the price is too high or too low. If the buyer cannot come up with the necessary funds, the seller may agree to a like exchange in other assets.

Continuing As Owners

If you and your spouse believe that you can continue to work together effectively, then keeping the business may be the best option. There are several benefits to this approach:

1. You would both retain your respective interests in the company.

2. You would not have to incur the expense of a valuation.

3. You would be able to continue working together in a professional capacity, which can be beneficial for both parties.

Of course, there are also some risks associated with this approach, so it is essential to weigh all factors carefully before making a decision. If you and your spouse feel you can continue to work together successfully, then continuing as co-business owners may be a reasonable solution.

Further considerations

Ultimately, if you don’t have a prenuptial that addresses the business, you'll need to decide how it should be divided. If you can't agree, a family law judge will make a decision based on many factors. In any case, it's important to talk to an experienced attorney to understand your options and make sure that your rights are protected.


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