When two spouses are involved in a closely held business, they have several options for handling the marital asset during a divorce. These options might include selling the business or buying out one spouse. During the recession, neither of these were an option for some married, small business owners.

Take for instance one couple that owned and operated an engineering firm together. “The business was hanging on by a thread and we had to hang on,” said the wife, despite their desire to divorce. Although the pair may not have needed one another anymore as romantic partners, they relied on one another as business partners. Together they made it work until the company and the couple could afford a divorce.

This couple likely isn’t alone based on statistics that show that the divorce rate once again increased for the third year in a row after a 40-year low. In the year 2012, there were 2.4 million people that filed for divorce. According to economists, this is a very good sign, indicating that the United States economy is on the upswing.

The idea of dividing a business, a house or even other assets may not have been the only issues preventing some couples from filing for divorce. The increase in divorces also paralleled a boost in women obtaining employment in the workforce. During the recession, this may not have been an option for unemployed or stay-at-home spouses.

How do I know when divorce is a financially viable option for me? The answer to this question may not be immediately clear, but information is power in these cases. Consulting an Ohio divorce attorney can help provide guidance on individual circumstances so that a couple can make a truly informed decision.

Source: Financial Advisor Magazine, “Worsening Divorce Rate Points To Improving U.S. Growth Outlook,” Feb. 18, 2014