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Who will keep the family business in a divorce?

Divorce can be messy and complex for anyone, but if your spouse is also your business partner, divorce presents a unique set of challenges.  Many happily married couples who start a family business never take the time to contemplate the possibility of divorce.  Without advance planning, your successful business may become a point of contention in your divorce.  Our West Texas divorce lawyers at Navarrete and Schwartz, P.C. explore the possibilities for division of your family business in a divorce.  

Your Options For Your Business During a Divorce

Deciding what to do with your family business in a divorce is never easy.  There are three general methods for handling a business during a divorce.  These include:

  1. Continue to run the business together:  For divorcing spouses that may still be able to work together, it could be a viable option to continue to own the business together.  This option allows both of you to maintain your interest in the business. It allows you to forgo the need for a business valuation, which can be costly.  However, it will require that you maintain a close working relationship with your ex, which does not work for many.

  2. Sell the business:  For many couples, the best option in a divorce is to sell the family business and split the profits.  You will need to have a business valuation and negotiate for a fair division of the proceeds of the sale.  Be prepared, however, for your business to take some time to sell.  Have a plan in place for running the business while it is for sale.

  3. Buy out your ex-spouse’s interest in the business:  Rather than selling the business, it may make sense for you to purchase your ex-spouse’s interest in the business so that you can continue running it.  Once the business has been valued, you can either buy your ex-spouse’s shares or use other marital assets for an even exchange.  This option will of course require your ex-spouse’s agreement to sell his or her shares.

Anyone who owns a family business and is contemplating divorce should consult with a licensed divorce attorney as soon as possible.  Deciding what to do with your business in a divorce can be difficult, but with the help of your lawyer you can select the strongest option for your future.