Going through a divorce will always be unpleasant. Once upon a time, you thought that the two of you would be together forever, and you built a life on those foundations: a home, a family, and perhaps even a business.
Now that it’s come to an end, you’re probably wondering where this leaves you, especially with regards to your company. Although what happens to your property and children is well-documented, less is written on the former.
That’s why we’ve created this brief guide to help clarify things for you…
How Your Business Will Be Affected by Your Divorce
Although you may be under the impression that the business you created is yours alone, this is not the case when it comes to divorce proceedings, no matter how little your spouse was or is involved with the running of it.
This is because any enterprises that you own form part of your ‘marital assets’, which are expected to be shared fairly between you. As a result, it is standard protocol for the court to ask that your company and any business interests are valued as part of the financial disclosure exercise.
What You Should Do First
Although it is always best for both parties to approach divorce proceedings with the intention of being reasonable, it’s fair to want to protect the business that you’ve built, so you should begin by thinking about what you want to get out of your enterprise, now and in the future. Your spouse should do the same.
Although we advise discussing these aims with each other, we still recommend taking advice from a legal firm such as Withers Worldwide, which specialises in such issues. They should be able to recommend the best course of action for successfully achieving your objectives.
What Will Happen to Your Business
After reading the above, many business owners panic about the future of their company, imagining that it will be torn into pieces and ultimately destroyed. But such an outcome is incredibly unlikely.
Wherever possible, the courts will attempt to leave a company in the hands of its owner, compensating the remaining spouse with either a larger share of the other marital assets or maintenance.
What You Should Do Next
When it comes to reaching a fair divorce settlement, it’s important to be proactive, so we recommend working closely with your chosen legal specialist to come up with a long-term plan of action.
Talking with your spouse will usually prove to be productive too. Civility between the two of you should always be preferred, no matter the circumstances of your divorce, and fears shared with one another to help reach a final agreement that meets the desires of each party as fully as possible.