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How do you divide a joint business in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2023 | Property Division

As a business owner who is considering divorce, you may naturally be concerned about how your divorce will affect your business. Your concerns will be even greater when you share the business with your spouse.

Figuring out what to do with a jointly-held business after the divorce isn’t an easy process. There are numerous factors you have to consider. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started:

Do I have a prenuptial in place?

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may already make clear what happens to the business in the event of a divorce. Provided the agreement was correctly made, that could make things relatively straightforward.

Do I actually want to keep the business?

Just because you have worked hard for years to build a company does not mean you need to stick with it for the rest of your life. Many people use their divorce as a catalyst for other major changes in their lives. 

If you no longer enjoy your work, or you do not feel the return is worth the effort, you may enter the divorce with a very different attitude concerning what happens to the business than if you still enjoy the company or need the money it brings in.

How will any decision affect others?

While a divorce is a matter between two people the effects can ripple out to affect many more. For example, your children will be affected if the divorce results in the business becoming less profitable because there will be less money available to spend on them.

Employees, business partners and investors may feel uncomfortable staying in the business if the divorce gets unpleasant. They will also be concerned about how your decisions affect their pockets.

Getting external help to learn more about your options for dealing with a business in divorce can help you make appropriate choices.