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Divorce and the family business

North Carolina business owners who decide to divorce may face unique complications and concerns. In many cases, spouses worked together in a number of different ways to build a family business. Determining how to divide a business in an equitable way that satisfies both spouses can be a lengthy process. In order to divide a family business, each spouse should seriously consider their future plans for the company.

Dividing a family business can be especially complex when the company is large and valuable. During a high-asset divorce, both parties can benefit from an objective, formal appraisal conducted by a third party. This can help spouses to negotiate an agreement to divide the business based on its value. In some cases, one spouse may retain the company in exchange for other property or a direct buyout. This can be helpful in terms of taxes because the purchase will be considered a property transfer during divorce and therefore exempted from taxation. In other cases, a couple may structure the sale to move forward over time.

In other cases, both spouses may retain the business together. This can be a challenging concept during a contentious divorce, but it can be a good option when both spouses are deeply committed to the firm’s financial success as a top priority. A third option is for both spouses to sell the company and then divide the proceeds. While this choice may be straightforward, it can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if at least one partner strongly wishes to remain in the business.

Business owners and people with other valuable assets may face unique concerns about how to handle the property division process. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing spouse to help them achieve their goals and negotiate an equitable settlement.