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Divorce and Business: How to Deal With the Company You and Your Spouse Co-Own

April 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 150

Many married couples own a business together, but when the marriage goes bad, the business could be in jeopardy. If you and your spouse own a company and are considering divorce, you need to know the many options available. As you will see, many of the options available are similar to your choices when deciding on how to handle the marital home.

Continuing the Business

Some divorces are amicable, in which case it may be possible to keep running the business with your former spouse. If you have just discovered some fundamental differences that keep the marriage from succeeding, but you can still be friendly with each other, you may be able to stay business partners.

If this option appeals to you, it is wise to talk to your lawyer to get advice specific to your case. Even if it seems like nothing has changed at the office, you will likely be advised to look over your contracts to make sure you do not have to make any changes. You never know when your former spouse's attitude will change toward you, the divorce, and the business, so you need to protect your interests with contracts and legal advice.

Business Buy Outs

If you cannot work with your spouse anymore, one of you can buy out the other. This means the business can continue with just one of you running it, and the person who gets bought out is no longer a part of the company. If you choose this route, you will both have to decide whether a lump sum or payments are most appropriate.

Just note that even when one of you buys out the other, you will still need to determine alimony and child support. A business buy out will certainly affect spousal support, especially since it means one of you will continue to have regular income from the company, while the other does not. This is why you should carefully consult with your divorce lawyer before deciding anything.

Selling the Business

Keep in mind that a business buy out is not always simple, and neither is trying to figure out how to keep running the business together. This is why you might instead consider selling the company. This is a big decision, and it still requires figuring out how to split the profits, so you will need some guidance. But sometimes it is easier to just sell the company and start fresh with another business that your former spouse is not involved in.

You need to discuss these options with your spouse since each decision will affect your finances, as well as your relationship. Your divorce lawyer may be able to contact a specialist who deals with business decisions if he or she cannot help you make the right decision. Just consider how your choice will affect not only your bank account, but also your family, your future, and your reputation in the business world.

Brian D. Perskin & Associates PC is a full service matrimonial law firm that handles family law and divorce cases. When you need help with equitable distribution, which includes pensions, real estate, business evaluations, enhanced earnings, child custody, maintenance, alimony/child support, prenuptial agreements, domestic violence, and other serious legal matters, we can get results. Contact us at so you can benefit from our team of family law professionals.

Source: EzineArticles
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