Kathy D. Sheive Attorney at Law

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You don't have to let divorce ruin your business

You've been in a marriage for a long time and have been a business owner in the great state of Florida for just about as long. You and your spouse have been through it all -- raised your kids, grown your business, loved the ups and survived the downs. You are both looking forward to the years ahead, as long as you spend those years ahead apart. You both want a divorce, but how it will affect your company is a concern.

The truth of the matter is, you don't have to let divorce ruin your business. It may be your biggest marital asset, but you will not necessarily lose it simply because your marriage is falling apart. To figure out how your business is going to survive the divorce process, you must first determine if it is separate or marital property.

Is it separate or marital property?

If you started your business after getting married, chances are the courts will consider it marital property unless you can prove otherwise. To prove that it is separate property, you would generally need to provide some form of evidence to that fact, such as: 

  • A written postnuptial agreement stating the business only belongs to you
  • Proof someone handed the business down to you
  • Proof that you bought the business using your own funds, not marital funds
  • Proof that your spouse did not participate in company operations
  • Proof that you kept business and marital funds separate

If you cannot provide the necessary evidence that the business is yours alone, it will likely be subject to division in divorce. This does not mean that you will lose your company, it just means that you may have to buy out your spouse or figure out how to keep the company going with your ex as your partner. 

You can figure this out

At the end of the day, if your business ends up being a marital asset and subject to division, there are a number of ways to deal with it so that you don't have to dissolve your company. With the assistance of legal counsel who has experience handling complex assets such as this, you may be able figure out the best way to approach the problem and reach an agreeable resolution that is fair for both parties and does not hurt the company's bottom line. 

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