Divorce for Maryland couples involves many potential areas of conflict. Of course, when children are involved, the issues of child custody and support become paramount. However, asset division can be as contentious as child custody and often far more complex. This is especially true if either of the divorcing parties are small business owners. Other parties that are not part of the divorce, such as business partners, could be impacted.
If a business will be involved in the divorce process, the couple should conduct a proper evaluation of the company and factor the percentage of ownership. Although there are different methods to evaluate a business, the percentage ownership issue can be trickier. A business started before the marriage may be considered separate property. However, it’s more likely that the business is a marital asset, at least in terms of equity, that must be divided. In such instances, the spouse who wants to keep the business will probably buy out their future ex’s shares.
If there is another asset with equivalent value, such as the family home, the two parties could reach an agreeable trade-off. However, finding the funds or making the sacrifices necessary to complete a buyout may add additional stress to an already stressful time. Even if there is an agreement in the operating plans of a business on how to handle a partner’s divorce, the terms must be reviewed and accepted as fair to the partner’s spouse by the divorce court judge.
The decisions made during the divorce process will have lasting implications as one moves toward establishing a new life. An experienced family law attorney can offer counsel on the rights and responsibilities of all parties.