family business and divorce – how does it work?

Going through a divorce can at times feel like climbing Mount Everest. There are so many questions, so much struggle, and stress involved. This process can be made even harder when there is a family business at stake. The division of property and assets is an essential part of many divorces and a business can be considered just that, property or asset. Yet, on the other hand, a business is much more. It’s a financial tool, an emotional journey, and a source of stability. 

A family business is the cumulative undertaking of hundreds of hours of sweat, tears, stress, and growth. At times, a family business is an extension of the family itself. When a divorce is imminent, it can seem like the business itself, and all it represents is at stake. 

During a divorce which includes a family business, that business will go through the division of property and assets that is more commonly thought of when it comes to a house or finances. So, when dividing your personal property, real estate, and other assets, if you have a family business, then that will be included as well. 

There are many things to consider during a divorce and this is especially true with a divorce that includes a family property. There are three things to consider when assessing the future of a family business after a divorce. 

  • One spouse buys out the other spouse’s share in the business
  • Both spouses will continue to co-own the business
  • The spouses will sell the business and split the profits

A major factor to consider is how the business was acquired or how the business is structured legally and financially. Some questions to ask yourself and your lawyer could be; if the business was acquired with equal funds from both spouses did both spouses work equally in the business? Or; if the business was started by my spouse do I still get a stake? 

Regardless of the choices, a couple makes regarding their business a business valuation will most likely have to take place. A business valuation is what it sounds like; an assessment of what the business is worth. This is important to have because of the eventuality of a spouse buying out the business, whether during or after the divorce. Consulting a family law attorney is an important thing to do. A divorce can be complicated and divorce with a family business attached even more so. 

Contact Our Law Firm

If you are going through a divorce in Alabama and have a family business at stake, call LaPlante, Merritt, Faulkner, Wilson & Clay, LLC at (256) 236-7354 today to arrange a consultation. This process can be aided tremendously when dealing with experienced family law attorneys like those at our firm. 

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