The process of dividing the finances in a divorce is always a difficult process, but if business interests are involved, a whole new complexity enters the game, one which only a qualified Appleton family law attorney can help you with.
In some of the scenarios, both spouses may have worked together in building the business and both may have the intention to keep their positions. In others, one spouse may not have the knowledge to run the business and it may only revolve around the other spouse.
Alternatively, one spouse may have created many business interests before they got married, or they might have inherited it, or maybe they brought in substantial growth to the business before the divorce.
Decline in business after divorce
And sometimes, the business starts to decline immediately after a divorce and there is a suspicion that the other spouse is behind it. If that is the case, there has to be a careful analysis of how the other spouse is living and what finances they have declared to ensure that all assets have been disclosed both solely and jointly owned by the spouses.
So how does the court deal with such issues? One way to ensure that this does not happen is to make sure to protect your business in a divorce. As far as the court is concerned, the principle is that both spouses will claim an equal share in the assets acquired or produced during the time the two were married.
Any assets acquired before the marriage is considered non-matrimonial property, meaning that the spouse who acquired them have full rights to retain them as well. If however there are not enough assets to meet the needs of both spouses, then those needs will be given priority over an argument about what is and not matrimonial.
Valuation of the business
To get the best slice of the pie, you will have to get the business valued. You will need the services of an expert to provide the complete valuation of the business. Their findings are final and are accepted by both spouses and the court.
There are various methods of valuation when it comes to business, but the basic aim is to assess the appropriate value someone would pay to acquire the business in an open market. Depending on the nature of the business, the methods of valuation may differ.
Selling the company
In such a scenario, the business may have to be sold, but the court does not have the power to order the sale of the business. However, if one of the spouses shows that they have claims to a share in business, their sums and assets could be released making sure that it does not hamper the ability to run the business for one of the spouses.
The process is very complex and should be looked into by a family law attorney, and a professional accountant. Only then you can save your business from being sold away in the open market or completely devoured by the other spouse.
Interesting relatied article:
What Happens To Your Business In Your Divorce?