All marital property has to be divided up in a divorce, and that can include your business. If you do not have a marital agreement covering it, the company that you built could be subject to the property division process just like any other asset. You do have ways of fighting back against a spouse who wants to grab a large portion of your company though. Our experienced Mountainside property distribution attorneys are ready to assist you.
Is My Company Marital Property?
It is possible that your business is considered to be a marital property. You have to ask yourself a few questions to see if the court is likely to see things that way.
- Did you and your spouse establish this company together?
- Did you and your spouse work together to grow this business?
- Did marital funds ever intermingle with business assets?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, your business is probably going to be considered marital property. That means that it could be split up along with other assets that you and your spouse share. We cannot make any promises, but know that our lawyers can help you fight for the best possible outcome here. If you are serious about protecting what you have built, you do not want to tackle the property division process on your own.
What if My Business Grew In Value During My Marriage?
There is also another important thing to consider. Maybe you established your business before your marriage began. Your spouse had nothing to do with it and you did not use any shared assets once you were married. In most cases, this would make a business separate property. You came into the marriage with it, so you should leave with it.
However, if your business grew in value during your marriage, your spouse may be able to claim some of that value as a marital asset. This growth in value is like any other income you make during your marriage. It ends up being a shared asset.
This is another good reason to have an experienced lawyer on your side. You do not want to be blindsided by claims like this.
How Can My Company Be Valued?
If your business does need to be split between you and your spouse, it will have to be valued. There are a few different approaches to this, including:
Market: Your company is compared to other, similar companies that have been sold recently and their values.
Assets: Any asset owned by your company is valued. This includes intangible assets, like intellectual property, copyrights, and patents.
Income: This approach focuses on how much income a cash flow would be likely to generate for its owners.
A business can only be split up once it has been properly valued.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are serious about protecting your assets in a divorce, you need attorneys who are ready to fight for you. Contact Ross & Calandrillo, LLC and set up your consultation today. We would love to tell you more about how we can help you.