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Could selling the family business make sense in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2024 | Divorce

Family businesses can complicate a divorce in Ohio. For example, Ohio follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning the fair but not necessarily equal division of marital assets.

A family business may be a full marital asset, depending on when it started, who started it, both spouses’ contributions and other factors. Selling the business might make sense as part of the division process.

Financial considerations

One aspect to contemplate is the financial implications of retaining the family business versus selling it. If one spouse wishes to keep the business, they may need to compensate the other spouse for their share through other assets or financial arrangements.

Operational challenges

Running a family business requires collaboration and shared responsibilities. During a divorce, maintaining such collaboration may become increasingly difficult. The emotional toll of the divorce process can affect the efficiency and harmony necessary for successful business operations. Selling the business could provide a clean break, allowing both parties to pursue individual ventures without the ongoing ties of shared business responsibilities.

Market conditions

External economic factors and market conditions also affect the viability of selling a family business during a divorce. If the market is favorable, selling the business may result in a more substantial financial gain for both parties, ensuring a fair distribution of assets.

Future growth and stability

About 996,693 small businesses operate in Ohio. If a business is thriving and has potential for future growth, one spouse may have the motivation to retain ownership. On the other hand, if there are concerns about the stability or sustainability of the business, selling it could provide a more secure financial future for both parties.

Emotional well-being

Divorce is an emotionally challenging experience, and the strain can spill over into the family business. Selling the business may alleviate some emotional stress, allowing both spouses to focus on personal healing and rebuilding their lives independently.

Whether selling a family business makes sense in an Ohio divorce depends on various factors. Each case is unique, and couples should carefully weigh these factors to make informed decisions that best serve their individual and collective interests.