When you get a divorce and start to divide up property, you may wonder if you are entitled to a piece of your spouse’s business. You may be, but there are a number of factors that determine what kind of claim you might have to this company. Our experienced Mountainside property distribution attorneys can help you sort this matter out.
When is a Spouse’s Business Marital Property?
If your spouse wants to stop you from getting a share of the business, they may try to claim that it is separate property. They started their corporation before you were married or they were the sole heir to it. Maybe your spouse’s business was founded during the marriage, but they argue that you did not contribute to it.
This can be harder for them to argue if there is evidence that you or your assets had some role to play in the business. It can be considered marital property if:
- You helped run your spouse’s business
- You did something that helped the company grow in value
- You helped your spouse strategize and develop plans
- Your money or joint money was somehow involved in the business
It can also help if the company was actually founded during the time that you were married.
What If I Did Not Work for My Spouse’s Business?
Sometimes you do not need to actually work for your spouse’s business to show that you helped it grow and should be entitled to a slice of it in the divorce. Supporting your partner while they work also has an effect. You may be able to argue that you did actually have a role to play in your spouse’s business because you:
- Handled most of the household chores
- Stayed home with the children
- Supported your spouse by working when they were pursuing education or professional credentials
In all of these situations, you can credibly argue that your support helped your spouse and helped their business grow.
What Will Happen to the Business?
What happens to the business during a divorce can depend on a few factors, including its current value and whether or not its operators believe that more growth is going to be possible in the future. Common solutions include:
- Selling off the business and splitting the profits between spouses
- Giving a spouse a stake in the company, but they become a silent partner
- Both spouses continue to run the company together
Each situation is different, but we can work with your spouse’s lawyers to find the best outcome for you, your spouse, and the business itself.
Talk to Our Experienced Divorce Lawyers
If you want to be sure that you are getting a fair deal in your divorce, Ross & Calandrillo, LLC is here to help. Schedule a consultation and we can answer any questions that you have about marital property and equitable distribution.