Helping you cross the

legal finish line

How are family businesses handled during divorce?

Running a business with your spouse can be an exciting prospect, that is until you experience problems with your marriage. In this case, you’ll need to make some tough decisions about what to do with the business, which can be heart-wrenching when you put so much hard work into the enterprise. To help you make the best decisions for you and your business, Forbes offers the following advice.

In general, you’ll need to select one of three options when facing divorce as a business owner. One option is to simply sell the business. In this case, the proceeds from the sale will be split equitably among you and your ex based at the discretion of the judge presiding over your divorce. Valuing a business can be a bit tricky. Hiring an appraiser is a must in this case, as a professional appraisal is the best way to gain an accurate idea of how much your business is worth. You may also run into issues if you can’t sell your business quickly enough.

An appraisal is also necessary with the second option, which is to buy out your ex’s portion of the business so that you’re the sole owner. In this case, you can pay for their half of the business outright or you can trade another asset for your former partner’s share. This can be a bit difficult, especially if you lack the funds to cover the purchase when an asset trade is not possible. That’s why some couples choose to continue running the business together after divorce.

This is usually a good option for couples who have divorced amicably. Keep in mind that running a business with your ex means you’ll remain in contact with the person indefinitely. You’ll also need to confer on important decisions, which can be difficult when tensions from the divorce are still present. Speaking with an attorney is crucial, no matter which option you select. An attorney will be able to review your situation and offer the best recommendation for you.