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Dividing business assets after divorce

We've often talked about the need for collaboration during the divorce process. When collaboration is possible, it can reduce the in-fighting and stress of the entire process, and it can make it easier for you and your soon-to-be ex to make decisions that are better for everyone involved, especially if children are a factor. While we know that collaboration isn't possible in every case, one area where it becomes almost critical is when two people own business assets together.

Whether you are both involved in the management of a large corporation or you started a small business in your garage that has since become successful, you probably can't cut and run just because the marriage is over. Instead, you have to make some pretty big decisions, the first of which is whether you can continue to manage the business together.

In some cases, divorced couples are able to maintain friendly and civil relationships in social and business settings. If you work well together in the business world but not in a marital setting, this could be a possibility for you. If you are too emotionally distraught or bitter about the divorce, however, then business relationships might reflect this and it could be time to seek an out.

One possible out is that you sell the business and split the assets. You could also divide the business into separate entities or arrange for one person to buy the other out. In other cases, a silent-partner arrangement might work so that one person runs the business individually, but both people receive some type of financial benefit. None of these options are simple, which is why our firm works with individuals throughout the divorce process to ensure business interests are protected.

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