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Divorce and family businesses

When an Ohio couple decides to get a divorce, they will have to split any assets that they acquired during their marriage. While deciding who gets the family home, cars or even artwork can be difficult, the former couple will have to make some tough decisions about what to do with their family business.

If the couple started the business together, it could potentially be structured in a way that a divorce would not affect it. This means that the former couple would remain co-owners. While this strategy is often best for the business, it may not work if the divorce is contested or if the former couple cannot work together. In this case, one person could potentially buy out the other person or add a partner. If these are not options, selling the business and splitting the profits may be best.

If one person owned the business before getting married, a valid prenuptial agreement will protect it in the event of a divorce. If the couple does not want a prenup, it is recommended that they sign a buy-sell agreement, which would require a former spouse to sell back any interest in the company that he or she received during the divorce.

When a family business is on the line, it is important that an estranged couple takes the time to determine how they want to move forward with their divorce. A family law attorney may inform his or her clients about how keeping or selling the family business may affect their financial outcome once the divorce is finalized. If one party does not want to be involved with the business, a lawyer may negotiate an agreement that allows the other person to keep the business in lieu of other marital assets. If there is a prenuptial agreement, the attorney may work to enforce its terms.

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