If you own a business and are going through divorce, maintaining control of the business and achieving a fair division of its value are important issues. To protect your interests, it's important to hire an attorney with a business background.
At Patton & Pittman, we understand business and divorce. Chris Pittman holds a degree in business management and is an experienced business attorney. From our office in Clarksville, our lawyers represent contractors, doctors, and owners of small and family-owned businesses and their spouses in northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky.
If you are a business owner who plans to get divorced, there are things to consider that can affect your company. From losing your business to being forced into a partnership with your ex-spouse, a divorce might put you in a compromising position.
Depending on the context of your divorce, your former spouse can be entitled to up to half of your business and assets. This because your business can be considered a marital asset in the financial analysis of your divorce. Marital assets are generally thought to be assets that were owned by one or both spouses during their marriage. This includes things like savings, real estate, debts, and business ventures. There are three general exceptions to marital assets:
If your business was started or built during your marriage, it will likely be considered a marital asset in your divorce. If your business was started before your marriage, it will have a non-marital value. However, if your business grew throughout your marriage, its marital value will increase. Finances from your business that are put into joint accounts are also considered marital property. Investments and retirement savings accumulated can also be equitably divided.
Even if you started your business before you married, your business may include a mixture of separate and marital property. Unless you had a prenuptial agreement, sorting out each spouse's contributions to the business during your marriage can be complex.
Our lawyers work with a team of professionals, including financial analysts and certified public accountants, to value your business. Usually, one side will buy out the other's interests to ensure continuity of the business.
Some businesses provide a good income for the person who runs it, but may have limited value since it cannot be sold to someone else. For example, a consulting business may not have value outside of the person operating it. A business that produces income may still result in an alimony award, even it isn't an asset you can sell.
Call (931) 361-4477 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation with our Clarksville divorce attorneys for business owners.