Business owners and business professionals often have the most to lose when they divorce. Not only will they have to deal with emotional issues of an ending marriage, potential estrangement from children and the loss of the family home, they can lose control of their businesses and, thus, their futures.
Like income and assets, just because the business is in your name, it does not mean that your soon-to-be ex-spouse can't get a large chunk of the action. Your business assets will be assessed and may be divided like your personal holding. Much of the value of your company may be tied up in equipment, products or other types of business assets. Will you have to sell the whole business in order to get out of your marriage?
Who is calling the shots?
Business assets and control are not safe even if you are one of many family members in a hundred-year-old family-owned business. If you are unable to buy out your ex in the divorce, he or she may become a part owner in the family business. Not only can this be awkward, it may mean disaster if the ex has too much control but doesn't care nearly as much about the success of the business as do his or her former in-laws.
The trouble with valuation
The fair market value of a business can be very difficult to determine. Tax returns and balance sheets may not include intangible assets, such as goodwill, intellectual property, informal agreements for services, the right employees or other hard-to-value items that help to make your business successful. Your attorney can help guide you to a business valuation expert.
Success takes times
Your business was probably not an instant success. Putting together the best divorce settlement for your circumstances takes time. Don't make the mistake of giving too much away by hurrying to put your divorce behind you. Take your time planning your future and, working together with your lawyer, getting everything in order before signing on the dotted line.
A helping hand
A messy, drawn-out divorce can wreak havoc on your ability to run your business. Let a skilled divorce lawyer who understands business matters tend to the details of your divorce so you can concentrate on your business. Contact the experienced business and divorce lawyers at the Texas law office of Harris Cook.