You worked hard to build your business and may think it is all yours, but a divorce court could view it as joint marital property, noted a recent article in Divorce Mag. As such, your business could be divided as part of the divorce settlement.
Whether and how businesses are divided in a divorce depends upon where you live, marital property laws, and the value of the company. The value is often determined by a professional appraiser who will take into account all tangible and intangible property, assets and liabilities. He or she will look at equipment, supplies, bank accounts, rent, credit lines, and monthly service payments. Other factors to be taken into account include intangibles such as customer satisfaction, community involvement, and goodwill for the business. If one spouse is the “face” of the business in the local community, that could play a role as well.
While some states follow “community property” laws where division is 50-50, Pennsylvania follows the guidelines of equitable distribution, which consider a variety of factors that often result in disproportionate distributions. This further complicates how the non-owner spouse is bought out of his/her equitable share of the businesses value.
The court may consider other questions, as well:
- Was the business owed before marriage?
- How was the business obtained during the marriage?
- Did one spouse take a loan from the family to purchase assets for the business?
- What is the likelihood each partner might be able to earn a living outside the business?
Divorce is already a complex matter on its own without the complication of having a business involved. Put yourself in the best possible strategic position by putting a top Bucks County divorce firm in your corner. Contact us at 215-340-2207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.