What could happen to your family business after divorce?

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

You may have built a thriving enterprise with your spouse during the better days of your marriage. When you decide to end the marriage, is it the end of the family business? The answer to that depends on the unique circumstance of your situation.

Divorce may affect the family business in various ways, but it does not necessarily mean its end. Here is what you need to know.

Understand your options

If you and your spouse own the family business, it is considered marital property and will be divided equitably. Some ways this can happen include selling the business and splitting the proceeds or dividing ownership and continuing to run the business together. You may also buy out your spouse if they are the minority owner.

Another factor to consider is the impact divorce may have on the day-to-day operations of the family business. If you and your spouse have crucial responsibilities in running the family business, you may need to determine how to manage your professional relationship during and after the divorce. In some cases, it may be necessary to bring in a mediator or business consultant to help manage the transition.

Protect your interests in a divorce

It helps to anticipate and plan for such an eventuality before things get there. For instance, a legally binding agreement like a prenup can save you a lot of trouble in such an instance. It is much easier to handle these and other issues in your divorce if there is a predetermined way of doing things agreed upon by all the parties.

However, if it is too late for that, you should consider seeking legal guidance on what you can do to safeguard your interests and potentially save the family business.

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