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How will divorce affect your business?

The challenges of running a business and those of going through a divorce may magnify each other if you and your spouse share ownership of a company. While ideally, you would have prepared for this contingency when you began the business, or before you entered the marriage, the lack of a prenuptial agreement does not necessarily eliminate all hope for a positive outcome.

According to CBS News, if the conflict between you and your spouse makes it impossible for you to come to a satisfactory agreement, the easiest resolution to the situation may be selling the company so the assets can be divided by the court. This may be the simplest way to determine a fair division, but by determining the company’s value, you may be able to come up with other options.

You or your spouse may have more interest in continuing the business as a livelihood. For example, for a health care provider, maintaining the medical practice would be more beneficial than it would for a partner who has a less active role in running the business. Allowing that person to buy the other out with structured payments or by exchanging the interest in the company for other marital assets may be a way for one of you to maintain it.

There are other factors that may make valuation difficult, such as determining how the division will affect the earning potential of the business. All divorces include unique aspects, though, so while this information may give you an idea of what to expect, it should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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