Business Owners and Divorce
Dedicated Brentwood divorce attorney fights to protect your rights and your legacy
You may have a lot to lose during a divorce. That business that you may have dreamed of opening your whole life and that you may have spent years creating may have to be sold, or you may have to give your former spouse a large share of it, or there could be other scenarios which are not likely to make you happy.
In my practice as an experienced Brentwood divorce attorney, I fight to help my clients keep the businesses that they have spent so much of their lives and their resources creating from the ground up. My goal is to help my clients keep all of their business. Where that is not possible, I try to help my clients trade off other assets that are not as important. I help my clients understand their rights and their legal options to try to meet their goals.
How are businesses divided in a divorce?
There are many ways that a judge may order a business to be divided. One of the easiest ways for the division of assets to occur is for the business to be put on sale. There is a clear assessment of the value of the business through the sale, and there is a clear division of the asset by dividing the profit equally. However, most people don’t want to sell and give up the businesses that they love and worked so hard to create.
Another popular way to divide a business is to determine its value through a business valuation. This includes an assessment of the business capital (which includes real estate and equipment) and its ongoing and long-term profits, and good will. This can be tricky since value can be subjective. Who is to say how much that good will is worth? Sales can vary widely on the secondary market based on the venue and the timing. Determining ongoing profits can be tricky because it is essentially predicting the future based on past performance. So business valuation experts can differ in their opinions.
When looking at the second option, I help my clients get the best valuation to meet their goals – whether that’s minimizing the value of the business to minimize the payout to the former spouse or it’s maximizing the value of the business to get the better share of the business for my client. I work with an expert, such as a business valuation expert, real estate appraiser, financial analyst, or other expert, to get the right value, and put together as much evidence as possible to create the strongest argument to get the right resolution for my clients.
What if I owned my business before I was married?
Businesses, just like other assets, if acquired before the marriage, can be separate property. But we have to look at the circumstances after the marriage to see if the asset or a share of the asset could have become marital property. Even if you owned the business before you were married, your spouse still supports you in your endeavors and contributes to your success after your marriage. The income you make from the business is also income that supports the marriage, and that must be taken into account during your divorce.
When I work with clients who owned their business before their marriage, or who want to keep their business and maintain a controlling position, I work to help them negotiate a settlement or prepare for trial if necessary. That might mean that we agree to give the spouse the house in exchange for giving up a claim to the business. Or it might mean that we use evidence or legal strategies to show why you have a right to the business and your spouse doesn’t.
I help clients understand all their options and then work to create the best strategy to get a good resolution of their divorce.
Work with a dedicated TN divorce lawyer to protect your business during your divorce
Whether you grew up dreaming about the business you opened, or you didn’t get the entrepreneurial spirit until later in life, you don’t want to give up what you’ve built. I’ve spent years as a leading Brentwood divorce attorney helping clients protect their businesses during their divorces. If you are getting ready to go through a divorce and own a business, call my office at (615) 791-8511 to discuss your options. You can also fill out the secure online form to schedule a free consultation.