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Dealing with a family-owned business in a divorce

Getting a divorce in Illinois is difficult, but it can get even more complex when you and your spouse own a business. Not only do you have to worry about ending your marriage but now you also have to determine what steps to take with the business. At Lois Kulinsky & Associates, LTD, we recognize that you have several options and that you need to understand them in order to know how to proceed.

Because the law requires equal distribution of your marital assets, the business will have to be divided equally between you and your spouse. You could sell the business and spilt the revenue. Another option is for one of you to retain the business and keep running it while the other spouse receives assets equal to his or her portion of the business.

In some cases, you may even be able to continue running the business together as partners. Forbes notes that doing this can save you money on having to get the business valuation completed during your divorce proceedings. However, it does require you and your spouse to be able to work together and continue the business relationship. This, obviously, will not work for every couple.

Most couples will choose one of the other options. Selling the business is pretty straightforward. You will need to get a business valuation completed so you know what to ask for it. It may also slow things down because it may not sell right away, so you could end up having to work with your spouse until it does.

One of you choosing to run the business will mean the other spouse needs to be bought out. You would still need to find out how much the business is worth through a valuation. Once you have that number, you can then figure out how to pay your spouse for his or her half. Sometimes this is done by offering other martial assets that are equal in value to the business portion. If you have the money, you could also just buy it outright with cash.  For more information about high-asset divorce, visit our website.

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