Butler Closely-Held & Family Business Lawyer
Marriages in which a closely-held business or family business are common. After all, there are roughly 30 million small businesses in the U.S., according to the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. And, 43 percent of small businesses are family owned businesses, according to Entrepreneur. But despite how prevalent small businesses are for married couples to own together, few people understand the complications a family business presents during divorce. Because so much of your household’s assets are likely tied up in the family business, it may need to be sold off in order to meet Pennsylvania’s equitable division of assets rule so that each spouse is fairly compensated; the business may be kept intact, but ownership may be split between spouses after divorce—a tricky matter given that this will require the two ex-spouses to continue communicating and exchanging with one another; the business may all go to one spouse, while the other takes the family home and all of their savings, which may put the business at jeopardy. These are just some of the options that may be available to you. No matter how complex your situation is, here at Bunde & Roberts, P.C., our Butler closely-held & family business lawyers can find a solution that fits your needs.
Valuing and Your Business
One of the first steps in divorce is to put an accurate number on the value of all marital assets. Marital assets include all assets and property, including debt, that were acquired during the course of the marriage. In Pennsylvania, marital property is divided equitably (fairly), though not necessarily equally. Because the family business is an asset, it may be considered a marital asset if it was started, or grew, during marriage. As such, it needs to be valuated by a qualified third party.
Factors That Go Into Business Ownership During Divorce
In addition to valuating a business, during divorce process (and division of assets) all of the following elements must be looked at in order to determine the contributions, and ownership, of the business:
- Was the business owned by one party before the marriage?
- Did the married couple establish the business together?
- Did they establish the business together before getting married?
- Was the business inherited by one spouse?
- Is there a prenuptial agreement or another contract that explicitly or implicitly addresses ownership or distribution of the business?
- What contributions to the business did each party make during marriage, before marriage, or during divorce?
- Was one of the spouses more involved in the business than the other?
- Are there any other business owners or investors involved in the business?
- Is there documentation of other relatives who have interests in the business?
Contact a Butler Closely-Held & Family Business Lawyer
There are a number of options for how to divide the business assets fairly without harming the future of the business. It is critical to work with an experienced Butler closely-held & family business lawyer in order to ensure that this happens. To get started, call the Bunde & Roberts, P.C. law firm today at 412-391-4330 to schedule a free consultation.