Business Ownership Division During Divorce
For many business owners, personal and business life intersects every single day. This is never more evident than when a business owner finds themselves in the midst of a divorce. Business assets, just like any other marital asset, are often eligible for equitable distribution as part of the New Jersey divorce process. Without the proper legal representation, small businesses, business holdings, and even long-time family businesses can be at risk.
At Jacobs Berger, our divorce attorneys understand that many of our clients have spent huge parts of their lives working towards the financial situation they enjoy today. We take pride in helping business owners navigate the divorce process in Morris County towns such as Morristown, Randolph, Denville, Madison, Florham Park, Dover, Morris Plain, Rockaway, and all of New Jersey. Our firm is built on the foundation of offering dynamic legal solutions in order to resolve complex divorce issues including business division.
Call our office today for a confidential and comprehensive Strategic Planning Session with one of our qualified and experienced divorce lawyers regarding your divorce involving owned businesses, and business holdings.
Business Division Attorneys Define Marital vs. Separate Property
One of the most important aspects when it comes to any type of asset division within a divorce is determining whether the assets in question are “marital” or “separate”. In New Jersey, only marital assets are able to be divided through equitable distribution statutes.
Separately Owned Business Properties Properties may be considered most owned businesses, business holdings, or business investments which were entered into before a marriage or after filing for divorce. There are also other situations which can lead to business assets received during a marriage to remain separate including inheritances and gifts (unless the gift was from a spouse).
Marital Business Properties would include any business properties, holdings, or investments acquired during the marriage. Generally speaking, even if one spouse carries the financial burden and is primarily involved in the owned business, it will be eligible for division if the business is determined to be marital property.
It is important to understand that separately held business assets can become marital property even if one spouse held the assets individually before marriage. For example, let’s say a wife owned a small business before marrying her husband. As the business grew, the husband quit his other job and the couple both invested heavily with their time and money towards the business. Despite the fact that the husband did not own the business before the marriage, it may be possible to show that his actions directly caused the business to increase in value, and the business may therefore be considered marital property.
Business Valuations and Equitable Distribution Lawyers
The valuation process during equitable distribution is vitally important. Due to the complex and sometimes fluid financial situations of many businesses, it may be difficult to nail down exactly how much an owned business is worth, and in some cases, to what the owners are legally entitled. Our Denville business valuations and equitable distribution lawyers take this step extremely seriously, and may call in expert consultants to assist in the business valuation process, including:
- Industry experts within the field of your owned business
- Forensic Accountants
- Certified Public Accountants
- Real Estate experts to identify the value of business owned properties
- Financial analysts to review the value of any business holdings
Business Division Lawyers Identify Impact on Divorce Finances
If owned businesses are considered marital property, their valuations can go a long way in determining other financial factors including child support and alimony. Essentially, the more an owned business is worth, the greater the net worth of the owning party, and the more that individual may owe assuming he or she retains ownership of the business. Our Randolph business division lawyers understand that many business owners prefer to retain control of their businesses, and that is certainly feasible.
Alternatively, divorcing couples could choose to equitably divide shares of the owned business through their divorce agreement. Equitable distribution laws mean that each party will be granted a fair percentage to which they are entitled to the owned business property, which may not necessarily include an equal split. Divorcing couples may also be able to come to an agreement to split the company into separate organizations, with both parties retaining ownership over the new departments.
Some individuals may find that selling their business assets and equitably dividing the profits is the best option. For those who are still on good terms, it may even be possible for both parties to retain ownership. As long as you and your spouse adhere to New Jersey regulations and are able to agree to the terms, there are a large variety of options at your disposal when it comes to business division during divorce.
Contact our Business Asset Division Divorce Lawyers Today
The business asset division divorce lawyers of Jacobs Berger understand that for many people, owned businesses represent years of hard work and dedication beyond their dollars and cents value. We believe in working with your unique circumstances to develop a personalized plan of action to ensure that your business assets are protected during a divorce. Lean on the experience our divorce legal team has built through successfully negotiating the equitable distribution of owned business property for clients in Morris County towns and across New Jersey.
Contact us online or through our Morristown offices by calling (973) 710-4366 today for a comprehensive and confidential Strategic Planning Session regarding your divorce, your business assets, and how we can best serve your needs.