Divorce is never simple. When a marriage ends, couples navigate uncharted territory deciding where both spouses will live, when both parents will see the children, and how assets will be divided. Adding a family business into the mix makes divorce even more complicated. A business takes just as much time, dedication, and effort to build and sustain as a relationship, and can be just as hard to let go of. Couples who own a business together and are seeking a divorce have the following options to take.
Buy Out One Spouse
According to the law, a business is generally marital property subject to division in divorce. If both spouses decide they do not want to share the business after the divorce, then it is subject to division like any other asset. If you want to buy out your spouse, you need a valuation of the business. To save money at this stage, both spouses can agree to hire one business appraiser to do the valuation. Once you know what the business is worth, you can either buy your ex-spouse’s half of the business, sell your half, or exchange their half for assets of equal value. This option gives one spouse complete control over the business and the other access to money or assets for their share.
Continue to Own the Business Together
Some couples who may not work well together on a romantic level may still be good business partners. For these partners, running a business together is still a feasible option. This option allows both ex-spouses to maintain their interest in the business without the need for an expensive valuation. For this to work, ex-spouses need to have good communication, trust each other implicitly, and share common goals for the direction of the business.
Sell the Business
Other couples opt to leave their marriage and the family business at the same time. Maybe you cannot envision working with your ex-spouse, or running the business alone after the divorce, and you want out. If you sell the business, prepare to split any profits with your ex-spouse.
You will need to hire an appraiser to do a full valuation of the business to determine a realistic selling price. If the business sells quickly, you will have income to begin the next stage of your life. Until the business sells, you will have to work alongside your ex-spouse for a bit longer.
Regardless of the decision you make regarding the family business, it is always a good idea to seek the counsel of an experienced Baltimore County divorce lawyer to guide you through the complexities of divorce, along with an accountant or financial advisors to help you make smart business decisions. As a team, you can overcome this challenging time in life and come out on the other side smarter, stronger, and ready for the next chapter.
Baltimore County Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Manage High Asset Divorces
At Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC, the Baltimore County divorce lawyers have years of experience handling high asset divorces. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 443-589-0150 or complete the online contact form. With offices in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients in and around Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.