Division of Businesses and Professional Practices
If you own a business or professional practice, it is likely one of your most valuable assets, and it may also serve as your primary source of income. If you are considering ending your marriage through divorce, you may be concerned about what will happen to your business. When addressing matters related to business ownership, you will want to work with an attorney who is experienced in business valuation and negotiation of divorce settlements involving complex financial issues.
The lawyers of J. Aldrich Law, P.C.. understand that the divorce process can be overwhelming, and we are prepared to negotiate on your behalf to help you achieve an outcome that protects your financial security. We can ensure that your business or professional practice is valued properly, and we will work with you to divide business interests and other marital property fairly and equitably.
The first step in addressing ownership of a business or professional practice is to determine its value. To do so, the assistance of financial experts such as business accountants may be required, and a variety of factors will be considered. These may include the tangible assets (real estate, inventory, equipment, supplies, etc.) and intangible assets (copyrights, trademarks, goodwill in the community, brand recognition, etc.) owned by the business, its projected growth and future earnings, and any debts or liabilities. Placing an accurate monetary value on a business or professional practice will ensure that it can be properly considered along with other marital assets during the property division process.
If a business or professional practice was founded or acquired during a couple's marriage, it will be considered part of the marital estate that must be fairly and equitably divided during divorce. If the business was owned by one spouse before getting married, it will be considered non-marital property. However, if the business increased in value during the marriage, that increase may be considered marital property, especially if the other spouse made contributions toward the business or was involved in its operation.
In many cases, business owners will want to ensure that their business can continue operating after their divorce. However, determining how to divide business interests while keeping the business intact can be a complex matter. In some cases, one spouse will want to "buy out" the other spouse's share of the business, and this may be done in a variety of ways, including making a monetary payment, offsetting the value of business interests with other valuable marital assets, or setting up a payment plan.
If a buyout is not feasible, or if both spouses wish to remain involved in the business, a couple may choose to continue co-owning a business or professional practice and working together as partners after their divorce. When doing so, a partnership agreement should be created that defines each partner's roles and responsibilities, and it may also contain provisions that will allow one partner to buy out the other's share at a later date.
You may have taken years to build your business or professional practice, and you do not want your efforts to go to waste simply because your marriage is ending. At J. Aldrich Law, P.C., we are committed to ensuring that your marital assets will be valued properly during your divorce, and we will work with you to reach a property division settlement that will allow you to protect your investment and maintain your financial security. To learn more about how we can help you address your legal and financial concerns during your divorce, contact us at 630-953-3000 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We represent clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Addison, Will County, Cook County, and DuPage County.