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Protecting your small business during divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2016 | Property Division

Along with sharing their life with a husband or wife, many people in Ohio also have ambition to own their own business. Unfortunately, despite hard work, both a marriage and a small business can fail.

If you are headed toward divorce and own a small business, keeping the business will likely be a big priority. It could be the most valuable thing at stake in the divorce, and it is likely that your spouse will want a piece of it, even if you did the majority of the work to build it up. Meanwhile, business sometimes grinds to a halt during divorce, threatening your ability to earn a living and keep your business alive.

Fortunately, it is possible to save your small business with the help of an experienced divorce attorney. First of all, your lawyer will work to keep the business operative during the divorce, so that the owner can keep earning an income. This may involve fighting to keep assets unfrozen so that money can continue to be spent and transferred as needed.

Then the task is to keep the business in the client’s hands. The spouse may try to claim the entire business for him- or herself, or an equitable share of its value. Whether he or she is entitled to this usually depends on whether the business is marital property or not. If it is separate property belonging to one spouse solely, the other spouse will not have a claim on it.

Even if the business is marital property, it is still possible to keep it through negotiation. Unless the spouses are still amicable, it is unlikely that either one of them wants to be business partners. This makes a buyout possible that benefits both sides in the long run.