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Divorce of Business Owners: What You Need to Know

Divorce of Business Owners: What You Need to Know

Date: February 21, 2017
In: Divorce

Get Legal Assistance With Your Divorce From A Rolling Meadows Divorce Lawyer

Divorce in Cook County is difficult no matter what the circumstances of your case. At SAM LAW OFFICE, LLC, we know that each situation is different and comes with its own nuances. We also know that divorces can get especially complicated and contentious when the spouses own a business together or are partners in a larger business. And when the business was created with some marital funds, property division can become extremely complex. As an article in Crain’s Chicago Business points out, corporate collapses happen often because business partners do not plan for divorce. Indeed, businesses can be among the most difficult assets to value, and they can be equally difficult to divide. When a couple goes into business together, or when one business partner gets divorced (and that business partner’s interests in the business need to be divided), the business may not be able to thrive.

What do you need to know if you are getting divorced and are a business owner?

Planning Ahead in the Event of Divorce

The best way to avoid business-related difficulties in divorce is to plan ahead before divorce. As the Crain’s Chicago Business article explains, when you form the business, you should always make plans in the event of divorce. How can you plan ahead for divorce when starting a small business? First, you can plan as early as before your marriage. A prenuptial agreement—or premarital agreement—can make clear whether a business will be entirely separate property from the marriage, and it can also specify how business assets will be divided in the event that one or more of the business owners files for divorce.

There are also other options, such as shareholder agreements and buy-sell agreements—both types of contracts that can help to define “how co-owners in a business would buy or sell their interests” in the business, according to the article.

Work with a Business Valuation Expert

If it is too late to plan ahead with regard to your small business and your divorce, you can take steps to make the process of valuing and dividing the business less complicated. As the article suggests, given that it is often very difficult to value and to divide a small business (or one owner’s interests in the business) during divorce, it is often extremely helpful to hire a business valuation expert. This person or firm can provide an objective valuation of the business. It is also useful if the spouses agree to the business valuation expert in advance. This way, the spouses have indicated ahead of time that they may be willing to agree on a final valuation for division.

If, however, the spouses cannot agree on a value of the business, it is important to stay away from a simple 50-50 split if you want to keep the business running after the divorce. As the article explains, splitting the business typically leads the business or company to fail in the long run.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Divorce Attorney

Divorce can impact business owners in very specific and complicated ways, and it is important to seek advice from a Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer. An advocate at our firm can speak with you today. Contact SAM LAW OFFICE, LLC to discuss your case.

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