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How you can keep the business in divorce

For some people, the most important asset they own is their business. If you are a business owner and you are going through a divorce, you have probably started to worry about the eventual division of assets.

Although your ex-spouse may receive a portion of its value, you don’t necessarily have to leave your company behind. Selling might be a last-ditch option, but it’s certainly not the only choice.

The first thing to determine is whether your business is marital property to split or yours alone. Mainly, recall when and how the business began. Did you already have the business before your wedding? Did your spouse contribute to business expenses in any way, including supporting you while you used a portion of marital funds to advance the company? These can affect whether your spouse has a claim to its value.

If a court finds that they do have a claim, then you will have to figure out how much your company is worth. Valuation is a complicated process that usually requires professional help from an objective source. Splitting the value in your favor, however, necessitates strong advocacy from your attorney.

Once you have a valuation, you will have to figure out how to divide that value between you and your spouse. Although running the business alongside your ex is not ideal for some people, it’s a possibility that can protect your business in a cordial divorce.

Some business owners choose to exchange their portion of other marital assets for their spouse’s share of the company. This would allow you to continue to operate the business without input from your ex. However, keep in mind that if they have strong ties to the company, they may fight for that same goal.

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