What Happens to Your Business After Divorce if Your Spouse is Your Business Partner?
If you are a business owner and are getting divorced in the state of Florida, you need to have a plan to save your business and assets. The same can be said about those whose spouse owns a company, as you might be entitled to some portion of that business.
Regardless of whether you have a single-person company or large-sized enterprise, any business owned by either spouse plays a tremendous role in the divorce process, notably, in the property distribution process.
Typically, a divorcing couple is not capable of valuing and dividing a business on their own, which is why it is advised to get help from an Orlando divorce attorney. Here at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, our family law attorneys are highly-trained legal professionals who help protect not only your financial well-being but also your physical and emotional health.
Divorcing Your Spouse, AKA Your Business Partner
Divorcing when you own or co-own a business is a tricky endeavor, as you could end up with a completely unfair division of business assets. If you, as a business owner in Orlando or elsewhere in Florida, would like to know the legal implications of a divorce, consult a knowledgeable divorce lawyer.
In the meantime, review this quick guide as a valuable starting point to avoid making mistakes and losing your business assets in the course of your divorce.
Regardless of why you are getting divorced, the outcome can be very unpredictable if your spouse is also your business partner. Understandably, you are now worried about what will happen to your business when the final decree of divorce is issued.
While it might seem that running a business with your spouse is the same as sharing children with them, Florida law would beg to disagree. While Florida courts consider the best interests of the child when granting child custody, your business could be split in a divorce in the most unfavorable and unfair way.
Yes, your business is your baby, as you have spent years or decades on building and maintaining it. You have invested a considerable amount of energy, resources, money, and time into it, but now you could lose it all in a divorce.
How to Save Your Business in a Florida Divorce?
The first step to save your business in a Florida divorce is to know exactly how much your business is worth. That also happens to be the most complicated question any business owner is facing when seeking a divorce.
The value of your business can be determined with the help of an Orlando divorce attorney who retains a valuation specialist. That expert must have sufficient experience in business valuation and appropriate accreditation.
How Your Business Can Be Split in a Divorce
Your business is in danger if you (a) opt for a contested divorce – litigated divorce process in which the judge has the final say – and (b) your business is considered a “marital asset.”
A business is a marital asset when you and your spouse developed the entity as a union. Therefore, if you owned that business prior to getting married, it is most likely not a marital asset.
However, if your spouse can prove that your business increased in value and became more profitable during the marriage, the spouse could claim that he or she is entitled to part of your business’s value.
Only an Orlando divorce attorney with business valuation experience can help you determine how your business will be split and whether your spouse could take a chunk out of your business assets. The following factors will be considered to make the determination:
- Your spouse’s contribution to the business
- Assets available in the divorce
- Both spouses’ other forms of income
- Other contributions during the marriage (household, education, childcare, career, etc.)
Get help from our detail-oriented divorce lawyers from the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee to evaluate your particular case. Schedule a free consultation by calling at 407-521-7171.