Will You Lose Your Business in Your Divorce?

Will You Lose Your Business in Your Divorce?

If you own a business, you might worry about what will happen to the company in a divorce. There are options for dividing your property, and you should always work closely with an Aurora divorce attorney. 

Starting and running a business is hard work, and it takes time, dedication, and – often – stress. However, working for yourself can be rewarding and give you greater flexibility to enjoy your life. If your marriage is in trouble, you might worry that your business is in trouble, as well. Many people are concerned that their ex-spouse will end up with half of their business, which can sound like a nightmare. 

The good news is that many business owners leave the divorce process with their companies and ownership intact. This can require some legal maneuvering, however, so you always want the help of a sophisticated Aurora divorce attorney who can handle complex property divisions. 

Dividing Your Property in a Divorce

Colorado law requires that spouses divide their marital property in an equitable manner as part of the divorce process. Marital property is, generally speaking, the property and assets that you and your spouse obtained during your marriage. A business can be marital property in two different ways:

  • For companies started before you were married, any increase in ownership value or business income during the marriage will be marital property
  • For companies started during your marriage, the entire ownership stake will be marital property

The law requires a fair division of property, but – fortunately – this does not mean that you must split everything in half. Instead, you have options that can allow you to maintain your business post-divorce. 

Valuation of Your Business Interests

First thing, you need to know the value of your business interests. Our law firm has access to appraisal experts who can assist with an accurate valuation. This is necessary to know how you can fairly divide your property with your spouse. If your spouse disagrees with the business valuation you provide, their attorney might seek an independent opinion. Then, you must decide which value is the accurate one, or the court might need to decide for you. 

Options to Divide Property as a Business Owner

If you run the business without your spouse, giving them a significant stake in the company can be a huge mistake, and they might not even want part-ownership. You could potentially sell the business and divide the proceeds, but that will leave you without your livelihood that you worked so hard to build.

Property distribution takes into account all of your circumstances instead of requiring each asset to be divided 50/50. This means you have other solutions available. For example:

  • If your business is valued similarly to your home, you might keep the business, and your spouse might keep the house, calling it an even trade. 
  • If you have assets, such as retirement accounts, your spouse might get a larger share worth their share of the business value, which allows you to keep the entire business. 
Speak with an Aurora Divorce Attorney Today

At CNL Law Firm, PLLC, we work with business owners and other clients with complicated property concerns. Call (720) 370-2171 or contact us online to discuss your divorce and how our Aurora divorce lawyer can help. 

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