Divorce as a Business Owner | What to Expect

As a business owner, you would do anything to protect your business, especially when it comes to a divorce. To learn more about divorce as a business owner, continue reading and reach out to our experienced divorce lawyer. The legal team at Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. has helped countless business owners and spouses of business owners through the divorce process. We are prepared to assist you next. Give our firm a call today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you.

Establishing Ownership of the Business

It is commonly assumed by business owners when they operate a business and their spouse is not involved, that they have full rights to the business in a divorce without compensating the other spouse. When a business is considered marital property, it is subject to equitable distribution. This means that it must be valued as any other marital asset and distributed with the other marital assets. Though the business would be allocated to the spouse who operates the business, the other spouse will still be entitled to offset assets, even if that spouse did not play a part in the operation of the business.

How will my business be valued?

If a business is a marital asset, it must be properly valued as part of the equitable distribution process. This will be done by outside financial experts brought in by the court such as forensic accountants. These experts will give your business value based on your businesses’ expenses, revenue, and debts.

However, if assets are not reported or a business is improperly valued, this could result in improper distribution which may prompt the involvement of the IRS. This is why it is important that you provide the courts will the entirety of your financial situation regarding your business. To ensure this process is done correctly, it is best to hire an experienced divorce lawyer to represent you and assist you in ensuring all information pertaining to your business is fully disclosed and the business is valued accurately.

Protecting a Business From a Divorce

There are a few options you can consider when it comes to the protection of your business in a divorce. If you are not yet married, you may draft a premarital agreement with your future spouse to determine what will happen to your business in the event of a divorce. If you are already married, you can execute a postmarital agreement to serve the same purpose. If you and your spouse co-own a business, you may want to draft a shareholder agreement that will allow you to define in advance what will happen to your business if you were to divorce. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C.

Contact Our Experienced Illinois Firm

At Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C., a Peoria and Tazewell County divorce lawyer from our team is here to help you navigate the challenges of any divorce or family law matter you may be facing. We are dedicated to the practice of Family Law in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford County and throughout Central Illinois. We provide effective and compassionate legal counsel in pursuit of our clients’ goals when dealing with any matrimonial issue, including, but not limited to divorce, alimony, division of marital assets, child custody, and child support. Contact us today.

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