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Protecting business assets during a divorce

Ohio residents who are getting divorced will need to negotiate a divorce settlement. A major asset they might find themselves negotiating over is a business if either they or their former spouse own or co-own a business. Because not being properly informed about the true value of a business can have deep financial repercussions later on, it is best for divorcing residents to educate themselves about this as early as possible in the divorce process.

The first thing experts recommend doing is finding out the true worth of the business. This is more complicated than it might seem, even when the ex-spouse seems forthcoming and cooperative about the information. For this, they might enlist the help of an expert such as a forensic account, who can research the business and determine the true worth. Determining this might involve knowing both the current profit and future earnings projections, how well-known the business is, as well as any debt the business has. Particularly when businesses are private, family-owned enterprises, the books might not be as clear as they would be for private enterprises, and determining the true worth might require even more research.

After the true worth is determined, the negotiations for the divorce settlement can begin. During this phase, the process will depend on whether the business was started by both spouses or by one before the marriage or if it is part of a partnership. Options involved selling the business and splitting the profits or having one spouse buy out the other spouse or offer another marital asset of similar value in exchange. Additionally, there are tax implications that must be considered.

The divorce process can be complicated, particularly when there are business assets involved. In these cases, the person getting divorced might benefit from the guidance of a lawyer who can advise them through the divorce process.

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