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Divorce and business owners

When couples in Virginia divorce, finances are often a top concern. This is particularly true if either spouse owns a business or the couple owns a business together. This is because businesses are often a significant asset and, in many cases, a primary source of income.

In cases where the couple owns the business together, some important decisions will have to be made. These include whether the business will be sold outright, whether the couple will continue operating as before or whether one spouse will buy out the other’s share. If only one of the spouses owns a business, other questions arise, including determining that spouse’s income for child support and spousal maintenance payments.

Another factor that can complicate matters is that many business owners don’t always keep business and personal funds separate. This can create difficulty when determining tax liabilities as well as ongoing financial obligations toward an ex-spouse and, especially, their children.

In many cases, it is advisable to work with a financial professional who specializes in addressing the specific needs of divorcing couples. He or she may also recommend working with an accountant who can sort through family and business finances and achieve a better picture of the worth of a business as well as a spouse’s actual income.

Another professional who might be able to help is an experienced divorce attorney. The lawyer may be able to review a client’s circumstances and make recommendations regarding asset division, ongoing maintenance, child support and parenting plans. An attorney may also be able to use information provided by financial and accounting professionals when suggesting strategies for managing the division or sale of a business.