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Are you concerned about dividing your business in divorce?

Going into business with your spouse may have seemed like the ideal arrangement. You may have shared ideas, goals and successes and felt that it brought you closer together. Of course, every relationship -- business or personal -- can have its own set of issues, and when those issues collide, it may prove difficult to keep one or both of those relationships going. As a result, you may now face divorce.

Though you may mourn the loss of your marriage in some ways, you may also feel that it is for the best. However, you likely do not want to lose out on your fair share of the business, but you may also not know what the outcomes will be when it comes time to decide what to do with the company during the divorce. You could choose from multiple arrangements, but in any case, getting a business valuation may prove useful.

Options for addressing the business

Once the decision to divorce came through, your next thoughts may have gone to how to handle your business. Three courses of action generally make up the most common options business owners utilize during divorce, which include:

  • One spouse keeping the business and providing the other spouse with a payout
  • Continuing to work in the business along with your soon-to-be ex-spouse
  • Selling the business and dividing the proceeds

The option that works best for your scenario will depend on your personal circumstances. For instance, if you and your spouse can no longer get along, the idea of continuing to run a business together may not prove appealing or wise. You may also need to prepare to fight for your stake in the company if you do not want to sell and neither does your spouse.

Business valuation

The value of the business could also play a significant role in the decisions made. For example, if you feel that accepting a payout could suit your interests, knowing the value of the business could prove vital to ensuring that you receive the equivalent amount of funds or assets for your share of the company.

You may also want to have your own valuation completed rather than trusting the word of your soon-to-be ex. He or she may attempt to provide false information or intentionally undervalue the company in efforts to provide you with less than your share.

Divorcing as a business owner

Going through divorce can be difficult for anyone, and when you have a substantial asset like a business, it can prove even more complicated. Therefore, it may benefit you to have a legal advocate on your side to help you through the complexities of your case and to better ensure that you reach a fair and reasonable settlement.

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