What Happens to My Business in a Divorce?

What Happens to My Business in a DivorceConcerns about the effects of divorce on business ownership and control naturally arise when business owners end their marriages. Although the details vary in each case, divorces force a valuation and potential division of business assets. A Carmel Indiana lawyer could provide you with specific insights about how family law or a prenuptial agreement, if present, will guide the division of business property.

Marital Pot

Assets acquired by both spouses before and after their marriage may form the collective assets known as the marital pot. It may include your business even if your spouse played no role in its development or operation. This is similar to the handling of retirement accounts. For instance, even though one spouse earned the entirety of a 401(k) balance from his or her earnings, the balance will be considered part of the marital pot and may be divided between both spouses.

Equitable Distribution

The concept of equitable distribution within Indiana law initially assumes that assets will be split 50/50.  However, the equal distribution may be rebutted if evidence proves an unequal split between parties is just. A court might approve asset division adjustments as long as they remain fair.

Factors that could influence a court decision include:

A spouse’s contribution to the business’s value

Support a spouse gave to the other spouse during the development of a business

A spouse’s age and health

Future earning power and separate property of a spouse

Existing and future financial liabilities

The representation by a Carmel Indiana lawyer could allow you to communicate facts that might influence property division. Legal support could empower you during private negotiations with a former marriage partner or when you petition a court.

Business Valuation

You will need to know the current value of your business to proceed with divorce settlement discussions. An independent business appraiser or CPA should calculate the figure. The complex process takes into account both tangible and intangible aspects of your company.  A a Carmel Indiana lawyer can assist you in this process of utilizing effective experts.

Settlement Possibilities

In resolving division of business assets, parties have options, including one party buying out the other party through a direct monetary purchase or through an exchange of other marital assets. Divorcing couples also might choose to sell the business to an outside party and divide the proceeds.

As a business owner, you will have a long list of issues to consider when ending your marriage. The attorneys at Webster & Garino practice both business and family law. A consultation at our office could enable you to make well-informed decisions during your divorce. For the representation of a Carmel, Indiana lawyer prepared to protect your rights, call us today.

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