Property division in divorce can be the most stressful and complicated portion of the entire process. Splitting up the assets of between two people includes bank accounts, retirement assets, and expensive property like homes, cars, and boats. These assets are relatively simple to divide compared to the effort involved when a spouse owns a business.
Divorces involving businesses are incredibly complex. The long process of settling this type of division typically ends in one of three results.
If a divorcing couple agrees not to distribute the business, they can pursue joint ownership of the company. If the couple is amicable with each other, this option becomes very viable. Co-ownership can function with both couples directly working with the business, or with one spouse continuing the work, while the other collects their share of the assets.
While this may be the most straightforward option, it can also be the most expensive. If one spouse is committed to continuing ownership of the business and the other is not, this may be the right choice for them. The couple would need to agree upon an appraised value of the company, then the spouses can negotiate for what a fair amount is for the exiting spouse to receive for their share of the business. After a buyout, the exiting spouse will not have any authority over the company.
Selling the business
If the spouses cannot agree to either of the first two options, selling the business may be the best option for them. The couple would sell their business, and divide the income from the sale based on what percent of ownership each couple had.
There are always options
The best thing to remember about divorces involving business is that the spouses have options. When it comes to determining what the best choice is for a spouse, the guidance of an experienced attorney can make all the difference.