Owning and running a business takes a lot of time, money, and effort to maintain. No matter how much a spouse put into a business, a divorce can jeopardize all of it. There are several outcomes that a company faces in a divorce, depending on the spouses involved.
Dividing the other property in a divorce can be a challenge on its own. Figuring out what will happen to your business is an entirely different challenge. There are three typical outcomes that spouses can agree to in their divorce.
If one spouse wants to maintain ownership of the business, they may pay the other spouse for their share of the company. The spouses will need to fairly value the business, then determine what portion of ownership the “selling” spouse has to agree to the sale of their share. After the purchase, the selling spouse should have no further connection to the business.
If both spouses wish to continue owning their share of the business, they may continue to do so. The dynamic of the ownership may change, however. For example, one spouse may end any business involvement other than collecting their chare of the income and leaving the leadership aspect to their ex-spouse.
If the spouses cannot agree about the business, or if neither spouse wants ownership of the business, selling the company may be the best option. After the sale, each spouse may collect an amount of the transaction based on the percentage of ownership or another agreed-upon value.
Weight your options first
Knowing which option that you want to pursue for your business before approaching the matter can better prepare you to protect your best interests. Consult with a divorce attorney to discuss what course of action best suits your needs.