Divorces for people who own businesses are very different from those of
First of all, businesses often have cash income that is not declared on
tax returns. This makes it difficult to estimate or trace the cash.
Businesses are assets and frequently subject to equitable (property) division
as marital property. In order to come to an agreement, especially with
a privately held small business, the value of the company has to be determined.
There is often a big difference in the values claimed by the spouses.
Forensic accountants frequently have to be consulted to determine the value
of the entity. Cash businesses such as restaurants (and even medical and
legal practices) are particularly hard to evaluate. This creates a need
to examine lifestyle factors, such as expenses and checking accounts to
determine accurate and fair figures for value.
Shares in a business are often not transferable. In this case, a spouse’s
share of the value has to be distributed from other marital assets. In
addition, some businesses were started before the marriage, creating both
separate and marital property.
One of my clients had been married to her husband for 14 years. They had
tried to have children early on in the marriage, but had no luck. A few
months ago my client discussed once again with her husband that her biological
clock was ticking, and she really wanted to try again to have a child.
He responded he no longer wanted to have children. He had made this very
important decision, but never told her. She felt betrayed and was devastated.
She was hurt, angry, and decided to divorce.
She felt her husband had wrecked her life and killed her chance to have
a child. Her husband was a successful and high profile restaurant franchise
owner. He had built a very lucrative business during their marriage, which
my client had contributed to greatly. The success and growth of his franchise
empire was largely due to her marketing and social media expertise.
When she hired me to negotiate her divorce I told her she was clearly entitled
to a substantial portion of the value of his business. I brought in my
team of experts to investigate and evaluate the restaurant empire.
When negotiating, her husband fought hard to give my client NOTHING from
his business. But I fought equally as hard during my negotiations with
his lawyer to get my client what she rightfully deserved! We prevailed,
and she got her fair portion of his business.
If you have questions about your family business and what you’ll
be entitled to in a divorce, call me. With more than 35 years of experience
and excellent divorce and stealth negotiation skills as a divorce attorney
and mediator, I will get you what you deserve!
FREE 1-HOUR CONSULTATIONS are
still conveniently conducted virtually.
Call me, New York Divorce Lawyer Lois Brenner, to schedule your free consultation.
I look forward to working with you to get you the divorce settlement you deserve!