Many issues can make a divorce complicated. Children, adultery, finances and domestic violence are just a few contentious divorce issues. The presence of a business can also make ending a marriage complicated and difficult. Some couples in Florida even delay a divorce or choose to remain married "in name only" just to avoid the complexities joint ownership of a business can pose.
As you might expect, this is usually unsatisfactory for everyone involved. No one wants to deal with conflict, but there are ways to minimize the complexities of divorcing with a family business. Below are a few tips and suggestions that might make your divorce a little easier.
Acquire financial assistance: Having an independent third party help valuate your business can reduce much of the conflict of divorcing. Often, family law attorneys have the necessary training to fill this role. If not, he or she can likely suggest a qualified financial expert.
Remain transparent: One of the easiest ways to increase your divorce hardships is making sudden changes in the way your business operates. The entire time your divorce is in progress is a bad time to make business changes.
Consider negotiating: Litigation is always an option but you and your spouse may achieve better results by negotiating important divorce issues. In many cases, negotiation efforts lead to a quicker and far less contentious divorce.
It is also wise to remain open to different solutions. For example, you might come out of the divorce better off by buying out your spouse's share of the business. Selling the business and dividing the profits may also be a good option. Your divorce lawyer can help you flesh out the possibilities and identify a solution that will protect your interests.
Source: Metropreneur, "The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Divorce," Jay Babbitt, accessed May 11, 2018