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What will happen to the family business after my divorce?

Marriages that have produced a family business are often left wondering what to expect after the division to the marriage is finalized. Will I have to divide the business? Is there any way it can continue to thrive despite the marriage failing? These are legitimate concerns to ask when separating the financial merging of former couples.  

An important starting factor when approaching this situation is securing a lawyer with a deep understanding of business laws and experience managing this and other high-asset divorces. There are complexities related to dividing a marriage with a business between them that simply do not appear in other divorce cases.

Consider the following options when looking into the future and what you wish to gain from the hard work invested in the family business.

Maintain co-ownership-- This is possible when both partners decide to remain amicable and not allow divorce to poison the health of their shared business. One useful benefit to this decision is retaining the investment each person has made towards the business. You also avoid having to hire an expert to determine the value of the business, which can be a long and expensive process.

Purchase the other half-- From a legal and financial standpoint, your business is another asset with buy-out potential if you choose to do so. Once the value of a business is officially determined, one spouse can motion to buyout the other half of the business in order to take over full ownership.

Complete sell out-- You may find it less stressful to appraise the value of the business, selling it and dividing the profit. The hope is that the business sells rather quickly and you are able to walk away from your divorce without any business ties between you.

Financially complex divorces are not easy. But there are ways to alleviate the added stress associated with such divorces. Ensuring you have a knowledgeable team in the areas of law, business and finances is important. The road ahead will eventually resolve the matters at hand. Have patience and allow the process to move you forward one-step at a time.

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