What Happens to Family Business in a Divorce?

February 8, 2022

Did you know that there are 5.5 million family businesses in the United States? If you are part of this family business statistic and are also in the middle of a divorce, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused about the entire situation. Divorce alone is complicated, let alone adding a family business into the mix. 

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Keep reading to learn everything you must know about divorce and business. 

Finding Common Ground

One way to make things easier is to reach an amicable resolution about how the business relationship will be resolved. You can find help and support from a specialist family law solicitor to teach you how to navigate during this stressful time.

Agreeing on a settlement outside of court will make it easier to make both parties happy. Some ex-couples choose to continue to run the family business together even though they are getting divorced and they are able to maintain a good working relationship. 

Buying Out

Some couples choose the buy out route. In this scenario, one of the partner’s chooses to buy out the ex-partner’s share. One partner can keep the ownership of the business and the other partner can pay spousal maintenance or make a one lump sum payment. 

If you co-own a business you always want to have a legal document drawn up so that in the event of a divorce you can reach a fair settlement a lot easier since both partners made a contribution to the initial plan. 

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Selling the Company

Another agreement that some ex-couples make is to sell the company. This allows each person to step away from the business and split the money 50/50. If there is a fair market value for your specific business this might be the easiest and best option for both of you if neither one of you do not want to have to deal with the business in the future. 

How Are Business Assets Divided?

For the most part, business assets will be divided equally just like other assets and debts. This means a 50/50 split for each spouse unless both parties come up with a different settlement agreement. 

There are always specific steps to take when preparing to distribute the assets whether you own a professional practice, a retail store, or a coffee shop. The way the assets get divided on your divorce will all depend on what your valuation is and the portion that is attributable to the community will be taken into account. 

Ready to Still Run the Family Business?

We hope that now that we went over owning a family business and going through a divorce, we hope you are feeling a little more confident moving forward. The thought of mixing business and divorce might sound challenging but with a bit of determination, you can make both of them work. 

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