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3 approaches to dividing your business in a divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2021 | Property Division |

Your biggest assets often become the focal point of disagreement with your spouse during a divorce. Couples frequently fight over marital homes and retirement accounts. A family business or professional practice can also be an asset that spouses must handle carefully in their upcoming Missouri divorce.

Like most other states, Missouri uses an equitable approach to property division. If a judge has to split your assets, they will try to make arrangements that are fair given your contributions to the household, your earning potential and various other factors from your relationship.

You may be able to negotiate with your spouse outside of court to create your own property settlements, or you may need to ask a judge to make the final decisions. What are the typical ways you could split a business in your divorce? 

You maintain some form of joint ownership

If both of you contributed to the starting or maintenance of the company and you each expect to rely on the business for income after your divorce, then you may retain joint ownership of the business even after the dissolution of your marriage.

There will probably need to be specific agreements and contracts in place to protect both of you and to establish not only your roles and rights within the company but also when you might buy each other out and how to resolve conflicts that affect business operations.

You place a value on the business and cash out equity for one spouse

When one spouse has not played a major role at the company or does not want to keep working there after the divorce, what you may need is a professional valuation of the business so that the other spouse who retains the company can offer a reasonable buyout. Alternatively, the spouse not keeping the business might receive other assets from the marital estate rather than equity from the business.

You decide to sell the business and split the proceeds

Perhaps both of you are close enough to retirement age that trying to transfer ownership now only to do so again in a few years seems like a waste of effort. You can potentially choose to sell the business or liquidate its assets and distribute the proceeds to help set you up for better financial stability after the divorce.

Thinking about your long-term needs can help you handle the big decisions about dividing your major assets in your upcoming Missouri divorce.