Plenty of people decide to open family businesses, where business owners and their families work together to support one another. In theory, a family business can be a great experience, and give families a chance to bond in a way they couldn’t otherwise. In practice, however, they can often be major sources of stress and interpersonal strain, especially if the business isn’t doing so well. And it only becomes that much more complicated if the owners are married and decide to get a divorce.
It is entirely possible for a married couple to continue co-owning a business even after a divorce, of course, but if you’re already divorcing someone, you probably don’t want to then see them every day at work. Assuming that’s the case, you then have one of three options: 1) one of you sells your stake, either to your soon-to-be-ex spouse or a third party; 2) you shut down the business and sell off its assets; or 3) you get a “business divorce,” splitting the company and its assets up between its owners. And a business divorce, as the name implies, isn’t much more pleasant than a regular divorce, even when you’re not divorcing your co-owner both matrimonially and commercially at the same time.
However, no matter what option you choose, there will almost inevitably be disagreements between you and your spouse about how to handle this shift in the ownership and operation of your family business. You will need to figure out how to divide your assets, settle debts and satisfy obligation, perhaps even who gets to keep the business and who needs to venture out on their own. It is a complex process, and not one you’ll want to handle all by yourself.
If you’re going through a divorce, especially one involving a family business, you’ll need legal representation to get the best outcome possible. The matrimonial attorneys at the Marnell Law Group have the knowledge and experience you need to fight for your rights and protect your assets during a complex divorce. We provide matrimonial representation across Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Give us a call at (516) 542-9000 or send us a message through our contact page.