Three Divorce Tips For Florida Business Owners
For business owners, divorce often comes with an additional layer of legal complexity. Couples will, for instance, only be able to finalize their divorce when they have decided who will retain the asset and if both parties’ want to retain an interest in the company, who will be responsible for managing it. This process can be especially complicated when a couple started the business together, used marital assets to keep it afloat, or don’t have a premarital agreement in place. We’ve included a few general tips to help you form a better idea of what is required of business owners during divorce, but it’s important to keep in mind that because every couple’s circumstances are unique, divorcing couples who own a business should still strongly consider retaining an experienced Fort Lauderdale property division lawyer before moving forward.
Carefully Organize Your Financial Records
Organizing financial records is an important part of any divorce, but is especially critical for those with complex assets, like a business. Of particular importance, is ensuring that there is a clear separation between the couple’s personal financial interests and their business interests. This includes keeping separate files on what is spent on the business and how much income the company generates. All of this documentation will play a role in placing a value on the business, as well as determining whether it is a marital asset.
Determine Whether Your Company Qualifies as a Marital Asset
Property acquired after a couple gets married is usually considered a marital asset. This applies to all types of property, including everything from bank account funds and investments to real estate and business interests. If a business is deemed a marital asset, then it will be subject to Florida’s equitable distribution standard, which can drastically affect a divorce settlement. Unfortunately, this determination may not be as simple as it initially seems. If, for instance, a company was formed prior to the marriage, it could still qualify as a marital asset if it gained significantly in value during the marriage, or if both parties contributed to its success. Furthermore, even if a business is found to be separate, it is likely that such a valuable asset will still play a role in a couple’s property division agreement.
Obtain a Comprehensive Business Valuation
Navigating the property division process will be extremely difficult for business owners if they don’t know how much the company is actually worth. A professional appraisal will take into account a company’s costs, income, and potential growth, as well as its liabilities, all of which will be necessary when deciding what the property is worth. With this information, the couple will then be able to decide what qualifies as a fair division of that asset, or if only one person wants to keep the company, what he or she is willing to give up in exchange for the entirety of the business.
Speak with an Experienced Florida Divorce Lawyer
If you are a business owner with questions about what will happen to your company if you file for divorce, please call 954-945-7591 to set up a meeting with dedicated Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today.