If you own the business and are in the process of getting a divorce, you are likely — and rightly — concerned about what kind of impact your split will have on your company. If you are searching for some ways to lessen the impact of a divorce on your business, here are some tips:
Collect your business records.
One of the first steps in protecting your business assets is to get organized. Gather all relevant business records, including accounting records, financial statements, loan documents, banking statements, and any other financial records for your company. You will also need to obtain an independent valuation on your business to ascertain its current market value.
If you started your company prior to your marriage, there may be portions of the business that could be considered separate property and not subject to division in a divorce. You will need to provide documentation that shows:
- When you started the business
- The value of the business during the marriage
- The value of the business prior to the marriage
- How much you invested in the business prior to the marriage
- How much your spouse was involved in the business
Know how New Jersey divorce law affects businesses.
A business started during a marriage is considered marital property, which means that it is owned by both spouses and will be divided if they divorce. If the business began before the marriage, but grew substantially during the marriage, its appreciation in value is also considered marital property and will be treated as an asset in a divorce.
You should look for an attorney who is experienced in the treatment of businesses in divorce (like our own Bud Murphy or Tricia Cistaro) and can help you navigate this complex process.
Consider installment payments.
If you must split your business in a divorce and your ex is agreeable to a buy-out, arrange for installment payments. A long-term payment plan will be less disruptive to the business and your ex will get the benefit of interest paid as part of an installment plan.
Give up other assets.
If you are willing to give up other marital assets, you may be able to retain ownership of your business in its entirety. However, this is a decision that should be made with the help of your attorney and a financial advisor, keeping your own long-term financial goals in mind.
You deserve a legal team that will maintain trust, respect, and dignity throughout your divorce process, while still delivering high quality advocacy and superior outcomes. Protecting your interests and achieving results which supports your needs is what you can expect from Cistaro Law. Contact us today for your free consultation.