Divorce is an extremely complicated matter, finances aside. That being said, if you are someone who owns a business, your divorce just got that much more complicated. Fortunately, our firm is here to help. Please read on and reach out to our experienced New Jersey business owner divorce lawyers to learn more about how we can assist you through the divorce process.
Is a business considered marital property?
When couples get divorced, their property is very often separated into two categories: marital and exempt property. Marital property is generally what is subject to equitable distribution in divorce. Separate or exempt property, on the other hand, is usually untouched by the equitable distribution process. For example, property acquired before marriage, inherited assets, gifts, and assets designated as exempt in a written agreement are all generally considered exempt property. On the other hand, things such as your home, and yes, even your business, may very well be considered marital property in a divorce. No business owner wants to hear that their business may be up for equitable distribution, so you must retain an experienced attorney who is ready to fight for your hard-earned livelihood.
How do the courts value my business in a divorce?
When those who own businesses get divorced, the courts will very often employ financial experts to thoroughly examine all your business records. In some cases, courts will even demand an inquiry into your business practice and expenses to establish the financial circumstances of both your business and your marriage. You must supply all this information both accurately and completely, because if you don’t the court may report any inconsistent findings to the IRS, which will open up an unnecessary investigation into your business.
Is there any way to protect my business in a divorce?
Fortunately, there are several ways individuals can protect their businesses from a divorce. The first is by drafting a shareholder agreement, which is designed to recount the value of each party’s interest in the company, as well as limit the transfer of ownership to another party. Additionally, you may also draft a prenuptial (or postnuptial agreement) to solidify the terms of your divorce and protect your business ahead of time (should you ever get one).
Contact our experienced Bergen County firm
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee.
To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about moving out of your marital home during your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.