When a marriage lasts years or decades, it is likely that the couple will amass numerous complex assets. These assets can include homes, vehicles, vacation property, income property and a family business. When divorce becomes a reality, the couple must progress through several stages of negotiation and compromise to reach an equitable division of these assets and debts.
Generally, the divorcing couple has three options when deciding the future of the business:
- Sell: It is not uncommon for the couple to decide to sell the family business and split the profits. It might be challenging to find an agreed-upon business valuation, but once this is determined, the couple can sell the business outright and look to start their own independent organizations in the future.
- Buyout: Over the life of the business, it is possible that one party has more vested interest in the business than the other. In these situations, once the company has been valued, one spouse can buy the other out and continue to run the organization independently.
- Co-owners: In some situations, the divorcing couple might choose to continue to work together and run the business. This success of this plan largely depends on the division of responsibility and the couple’s relationship.
The divorce process can be complicated by the division of physical property, digital property or debt responsibility. No matter how amicable or acrimonious the relationship, all these assets and debts must be addressed when proceeding through a divorce. When facing a high asset divorce, it is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional.