Handling Business Assets on Divorce

There is a lot to think about when getting a divorce and your business assets are one of them.

We know that businesses and families vary and understand that handling business assets whilst going through a divorce can be emotionally draining. Sorting your business assets can also have a large impact on your family life especially if children are involved.

Our specialist high net worth divorce solicitors can help when you are going through a divorce and will focus on a pragmatic approach to reach the best outcome for you.

The status of the company will be looked at before assessing business assets after a divorce i.e Limited company, Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership.

This affects the way in which the valuation would be carried out and the complexities involved ahead. For example a partnership that could lack any written agreement is likely to be more difficult to value than a private limited company with clearly defined multiple shareholders

What should I do first when assessing my business assets on divorce

Assess the business interest for you and your partner in respect to the overall business before the divorce. Then refer to your balance sheet and look at the list of available business assets to consider.

You should consider the effect on the short and long term business objectives in view of specific business assets and interests being sold as part of your divorce financial settlement.

Our divorce solicitors can guide you through this process with the assistance of our network of business accountants. If You are the business owner, our priority will lay on protecting your business from a divorce.

If the business is a family run business then the issues can be more complex.

Do all businesses have to be valued?

If the business does not have any capital value and there are no assets to sell and it merely provides an income, then it may not need valuing.

How do courts usually approach a family business?

Depending the nature of the parties marriage and matrimonial assets, the Court may look to avoid making orders in respect business assets on divorce. If acting the business owner, our team may consider a spousal maintenance orders as an alternative, if possible and proves more cost effective.

How are business assets on divorce considered by Courts in a financial settlement

Courts will look to consider the individual circumstances to the business, namely:

  • Income – How much revenue and profit does the business generate?
  • Standard of Living – Can the business support your current standard of living?
  • Assets – Does the business have assets of value to consider?
  • Pension – Does the business provide a pension and what is the value?
  • Ownership and status – Is the business shared ownership and what type of business is it?

Will the business have to be sold during divorce settlement negotiations?

The courts can order a business to be sold however it is not usually the case.

It is more likely the court will order the non business owner to property or cash owned outside the business or an income from the business as maintenance.  During discussions regarding handling business assets on divorce it is important to work out who benefits the most from the business. Sitting down together and discussing these issues can save time and legal expenses in the long run. This can help make the process of handing business assets on divorce a much smoother process.

Does it matter who owns the business?

If the business is owned by one partner then the court may treat the business as a family asset.  However if the business is owned by several people then the focus may be on the shareholding value. You can commence enquiries by contacting the companies house.

The court is less likely to ask for business assets to be sold or capital being taken from the business as this would affect business partners outside of the marriage which would be unfair.

Arrange a consultation with our family lawyers about protecting your business assets during a divorce

Contact us on 0330 053 7117 or let us know when you’d like a call-back.

Did you know that we have family lawyers in Hammersmith, Oldham, Manchester, Harrogate and Central London

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