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Business interests can be at risk in divorce

The challenging natures of decisions that must be made in a divorce make it important for couples to seek the input of neutral third parties. Any Michigan residents who have experienced a divorce themselves can attest to this. Divorce settlements can entail details regarding property division, spousal support, child custody and more. Whether simple property division or complex property division, the process is rarely easy on anyone involved.

One factor that can complicate any divorce is the inclusion of a business or other complex set of assets. If ownership or interest in a business is not clearly delineated, one or both spouses could potentially lose out on valuable income and assets. News media are currently focused on one very public story that highlights this situation with the recent announcement that Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, and his wife of 33 years are getting divorced.

With a value placed at $1.6 billion, the NFL team is a sizeable investment for Mr. Irsay. Fortunately for him, the team’s ownership is not to be disputed and he is expected to retain it fully, along with his interest in other business assets. The three daughters that he shares with his to-be ex-wife also have ownership in the team. News reports did not indicate if their interest would be affected by the divorce. The couple has been living separately for several years and is now proceeding with their divorce.

This situation could have been very different with the husband relinquishing a large part of his holdings if proper handling had not occurred prior. Anyone who has a business, regardless of the size or worth, may wish to consult with an attorney about how best to protect it in the event of a divorce.

Source: IndyStar.com, “Wife of Colts owner Jim Irsay files for divorce,” Mike Chappell, November 21, 2013

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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