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Who will get the family business after your divorce?

When it comes to the property division phase of your divorce, perhaps the disposition of your family business will be the most important consideration. If you and your spouse have built the business together, you both have a financial and emotional stake in it. Who will end up owning the company once the divorce is final?

Option 1: Continue on

Depending on your relationship with your spouse, you may consider carrying on as co-owners and partners in the business. If you do not see each other much during business hours, this would undoubtedly be easier and less awkward than if you worked side by side day in and day out. Both of you can keep your interest in the business, and if you can work together, this may be the best option.

Option 2: Sell to your spouse

Perhaps you would rather sell your half of the company to your spouse and have some extra money to put in your bank account. The business can be divided so that each of you receives a fair share. However, you will need a business appraiser to evaluate the business and assign a value. This is an expensive undertaking, but you can save money by hiring just one appraiser and splitting the cost.

Option 3: Put it on the market

For one reason or another, you both may decide to sell the business and split the profits. You will still have to hire an appraiser because you will need a valuation to determine the selling price. You may have to work with your soon-to-be ex-spouse while the business is in the process of being sold, but you can look forward to having extra money to do with as you wish.

The team approach

No matter what option you choose, you can assemble a team of professionals to help, such as an attorney, an accountant and a financial expert. If necessary, you can add the appraiser to round out the group and help you complete the disposition of your business as smoothly as possible.

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