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How to Protect Your Business During a Divorce

Posted on March 19, 2024

Divorce involves all aspects of your life, and it may also impact your business. Those who own a business on their own or in a partnership with their spouse may find that the divorce process can be very complicated, especially when you cannot decide fairly how to move forward with divorce from your ex.

Having an experienced New York City Divorce attorney from the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark there to guide you through this is critical. Here are several factors you need to consider.

Determine if the Business is a Part of the Marital Estate

If you started the business prior to the marriage, it may not be considered marital estate property. However, if it was acquired during the marriage by one spouse or by both, it could be. There are some situations where this is not the case, such as when the business was inherited from a family member or in situations where there is a written contract that outlines that the property is not a part of the marital property.

Determine What Options Exist

If you wish to sell the business and move on with your life, then the value of the assets is divided equitably with the other marital property. If one party wants to maintain the business, buying out the other party may be necessary. This may be done in various ways, but it is ultimately dependent on what the other party agrees to. If both of you want to keep the business but not together, then the court is left to decide the action to take. And, if both people want to continue to work the business as they have been and work together, that could require careful consideration and legal contracts to ensure it goes well.

Determining the Value of the Business

One of the factors that makes this process more challenging is determining the value of the business. If it is marital property, like any other asset within the marriage, it must be valued so that the court can determine how to divide the assets in a fair manner. This can be done through appraisals and other strategies depending on the type of business and overall function of it.

Protect the Future of the Business

The divorce process can also be financially challenging. As a result, you want to ensure your business has the financial means to navigate it. Working with an attorney can help you minimize the impact on your company in various ways.

Try to Decide Outside of Court

In situations where the couple has the ability to decide how a business will be handled outside of the court, that tends to be ideal. Because of the complexity of these matters, it is very common for the court to have to force the sale of the business when there is no agreement on moving forward. If you both come to an agreement prior to going to court, that may work in both people’s favor. Having a trusted attorney throughout this is critical.

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