If you own your own business, a divorce won’t just affect your family. It will inevitably also affect the company that you operate and the employees that depend on you.
Divorces with high assets can easily be more contentious and difficult to manage than the average marital dissolution. Identifying some of the most important concerns for business owners during a divorce can help you set realistic priorities and protect what matters most at the end of your marriage.
Consider the income situation
It is common for people’s spouses to work with them at their businesses, which might mean that the end of your marriage will also have an impact on your spouse’s career. You might want them to just leave, but finding a good job isn’t always that easy. You need to be realistic about what changes in your marriage will mean for the employment and income status of both you and your spouse.
Develop a workable estimate for the company’s value
If you started the business during the marriage or maintained it using marital assets, then there’s a good chance that at least some of its overall value will be marital property. You may have to factor that value into the property division process in your divorce, even if your ex doesn’t want partial ownership of the business. Reviewing the company’s finances will make it easier for you to put a realistic price on the company and will facilitate property division discussions.
Consider future income and support obligations
If you own the business and operate it on your own, the revenue that you generate not only supports you but the rest of your family. Your spouse may have forgone years of career development to support your family so that you could run the business.
You may have an obligation to pay spousal support in certain situations. It’s also possible that your spouse may try to make a claim regarding the company’s future income, not just its current value.
Thinking about all of the ways that your spouse might influence the value or finances of the company could make it easier for you and your spouse to reach a settlement during your divorce or for you to plan to protect your company.