Divorce with Business Assets

Posted on March 24, 2015 10:15am

Divorce is difficult enough as it is, but if you and your partner started a business together, these complications become magnified. By law, you and your spouse may share certain assets and, in the event of a divorce, either spouse is eligible to receive some share when those assets are divided.

There are many considerations to make in a divorce concerning your children, your finances and debts, and how you and your spouse intend to plan for the future and beyond. If you foresee any potential issues with the business that was established while you were married, consult with one of our Oregon divorce lawyers to know what your options are.

How are business assets divided?

Something important you must consider is how the business was funded. If you used money from a joint account shared with your spouse and any profits were filtered into that joint fund, then that is “shared profit.” It may be considered a separate account, however, if you opened the business under your own name or it started before the marriage began.

Here are other examples of separate property:

  • Individual properties owned by the spouse prior to marriage
  • Inheritances received by individual spouses before or after marriage
  • Any gifts given directly to either husband or wife from another

Be mindful of any titles that changed or financial agreements that changed. For example, if you had a loan that was originally separately yours and you refinanced that loan during the marriage to include you and your partner’s name as co-borrowers or co-owners, it is no longer considered a separate property, despite the fact that you took the original loan out prior to your marriage.

What are the value of my business assets?

Valuing the worth of your business interests is often difficult and can be a discussion that may be highly contentious. One side will try to argue against the other. It is important that you are truthful about the worth of the business and how much your share is worth.

There are many experts who can assist in valuing business assets, such as accountants and “Certified Business Appraisers.” You can ask your Oregon divorce attorney to help you if you have difficulty finding one within your network. Your attorney is also going to act as your advocate should your case require litigation and there is a disagreement over the value of the assets.

Divorce is difficult for everyone, but McKinley Irvin can make it easier for you. If you are facing divorce and are wondering what will happen to your business and other assets, do not hesitate to contact us.

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