Skip to Content

Getting a Divorce with a Business in the Family


Divorces for people who own businesses are different from those of wage earners.

First of all, businesses often have cash income which is not declared on tax returns. This makes it difficult to estimate or trace the true income.

Businesses are assets, frequently subject to equitable distribution 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 are frequently 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, including expenses and checking accounts to determine accurate and fair figures for value.

Shares in a business are often not transferable. Then 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.

My client had been married to her husband for 12 years. They had tried to have children early 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 very successful pharmaceutical patent attorney and had built a lucrative practice during their marriage, which my client had contributed to greatly. The success and growth of his practice was largely due to her marketing and media expertise.

When she hired me to negotiate her divorce, I told her she was clearly entitled to substantial compensation for building his law practice. I brought in my team of experts to investigate and evaluate. 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 the value of his business.

If you have questions about your family business and what you’ll be entitled to in a divorce, call me.

With over 35 years of experience and excellent divorce and stealth negotiation skills, I will get you what you deserve.

During the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic all our FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are conveniently conducted virtually by telephone or TeleDivorce, by Zoom or Skype to reduce risk and maintain safety for everyone!

Call me, New York Divorce Lawyer, Lois Brenner now to book your free consultation. 212.734.1551

I look forward to working with you, and fighting for the settlement you deserve!

Stay Healthy & Safe!

Warm regards,