The strain of a divorce is usually an emotional time and an uncertain financial
one. Even more difficult is the separation of assets for divorcing partners
who own businesses together.
Statistics from the National Federation of Independent Business say one
million businesses are co-owned and managed by married couples. How many
of these businesses and marriages survive are not separately quantified.
Business assets during a divorce settlement can often be the subject of conflict.
One suggestion legal experts make for married business partners who split
is for one spouse to buy out the other’s share. Financial analysts
and accountants can place a value on a business, so spouses can move to
divide it based on an objective figure.
Distributions of business assets in a divorce are not always lump sum pay-offs,
but can involve slower payments over time. It is to the advantage of both
spouses to cooperate, some lawyers say, since the business will support
both spouses in post-divorce life.
When there is no common ground between divorcing spouses who own a business,
the ultimate equitable settlement may involve selling the entire business
and splitting the revenue. Most financial advisors say this is an extreme
choice for business partners headed to divorce court. Sometimes one partner
may keep the business and the other keeps other assets.
Divorcing business partners have many factors to consider before making
decisions about how to approach the division of their shared business.
Some options may work better for certain couples than for others. When
divorcing spouses have difficulty coming to an agreement, seeking experienced
legal advice can be essential.
To learn more,
call Lois Brenner at (646) 663-4546.