Starting and running your own business usually requires a significant investment of time, money, creativity, and hard work. Your business may be your primary source of income. When you have invested so much into building a business, you will not want to lose all or a portion of it in a divorce.
How can business ownership complicate divorce in Chicago or the Chicagoland area?
Any divorce can be complicated, with multiple issues to resolve, including matters involving children, financial issues, and division of the marital estate. When one or both of the spouses own a business or an interest in a business, the divorce process can become even more complex. First, it must be determined if the business is nonmarital property or marital property subject to division in the divorce. If the business is considered part of the marital estate, then business valuation may be needed.
If my business is considered marital property, how will it be divided?
If your business is determined to be part of the marital estate, the asset division process will determine how it is divided in a divorce. Family law judges divide marital property between the spouses based on equitable distribution, which means the property is divided in a way that is fair but not necessarily equal. If your spouse is entitled to a share of the business, you may be able to negotiate to keep the business entirely in exchange for other marital assets. Factors family courts consider in dividing a business as marital property include:
- Length of the marriage
- Length of time the business has been in operation
- Contributions (financial and non-financial) each spouse made to the marriage
- Standard of living established during the marriage
- Time and resources of each spouse to be dedicated to raising children
- Property, finances, and earning potential of each spouse
- Tax consequences of equitable asset distribution for both spouses
At Beermann LLP in Chicago and the Chicagoland suburban area, we are highly regarded as innovators in family law. From complex litigation to negotiated settlements to appeals, our deep bench and talented divorce lawyers have years of experience, a reputation in the courts, and a history of top-notch results for our clients.