Butler Giraudo & Meister
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Divorce can be more complicated for business owners

Dissolving a marriage is often an emotional and stressful process. However, it can be even more stressful for an Illinois business owner. Fortunately, a business owner can take a few steps to protect his or her company during the divorce process.

First, it is important to gather records, including contracts, financial documents, bank statements and tax records. It also makes good sense to use an accountant to help one to scrutinize one's books. Understanding where the business stands financially is critical for making educated decisions regarding asset division and property distribution.

When it comes dividing assets during a divorce proceeding, it will not always be 50/50. A business is an asset, but that does not automatically mean that the spouse who does not own the business should get 50 percent of it. If the business was launched prior to the marriage, this might have an impact on how the assets are apportioned. Another thing to consider is whether the spouse who does not own the company actually worked in the business.

Divorce in Illinois can be overwhelming, whether one of both parties own a business or not. Choosing to negotiate directly or mediate a divorce may help the parties feel more in control of the process. If they are willing to find common ground, a mutually satisfactory settlement that avoids the costly, stressful and time-consuming nature of litigation may be achieved. Each person has the right to fight for his or her best interests financially during this type of family law proceeding.

Source: killerstartups.com, "7 Steps to Take to Save Your Business During a Divorce", John Rampton, Dec. 27, 2016

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