Dannenbaum Law Firm, PLLC

How a business might be handled in divorce

Entrepreneurs in Virginia who are getting a divorce might have some additional complications. A person might own the business or be co-owner with a spouse. Before going through the asset division process, the owner(s) should get an accurate valuation of the enterprise. If one spouse owns the company, the other may have a claim on a part of the business or its value. If both spouses are owners, one may want to buy out the other.

Valuing a business is complex. Therefore, an owner might want to hire a professional appraiser. Valuation may include taking tangible assets, such as computers, into account as well as intangible assets such as the worth of the company name. It is important to not hide any assets or the value of the business.

Once an accurate value has been assigned, the couple must decide whether the business will be kept, sold or split up. If only one spouse has ownership in the business, they might keep it and give an equivalent asset to the other spouse. Whether or not the business was started before the marriage might also play a part in how much claim the other spouse has on it. If this business was a partnership, there might be an agreement about how to handle a partner's divorce.

If a couple has a prenuptial agreement, this may also spell out how to handle a business in case of a divorce. The couple may want to try to negotiate an agreement regarding how to divide a business since a trial divorce could be costly and unpredictable. A method of alternate dispute resolution, such as mediation, may help them reach an agreement even if there is a great deal of conflict.

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