December 3, 2020

How Businesses Are Divided in a Divorce

There are different ways that couples in Michigan earn money throughout their marriage. Sometimes both spouses work and earn money, sometimes only one spouse works. Also, some may be employees of another company or independent contractors. Others may be the owners of their own businesses though and earn their money through their businesses. However, owning a business also means that the spouse has an asset in addition to an income.

If the couple ends up going through a divorce, that means that the couple will need to divide the business like any other asset they own. Businesses are unique assets though and not always easily valued. There are different methods that people can use to value businesses, but it will typically involve using a professional trained in valuing businesses. Once the marital value of the business is known though, the couple will need to divide the marital value.

Methods to divide business

  • Buyout of other Spouse. This requires one spouse to give the other a cash amount that equals that spouse’s portion of the business asset. This could be done as a one-time payment, but many times a spouse does not have the amount of cash necessary to do that available at the time. So, that spouse may need to take a loan or have a payment plan.
  • Sell the Business. This may need to occur, if there is no viable option for buying out the other spouse. Once the business is sold the couple can divide the proceeds of the sale.
  • Remain Co-Owners. Sometimes couples can continue to work together depending on how the business was set up and depending on whether they can put personal differences aside and remain working partners.

There are many business owners in Michigan and their businesses perform many different services or produce various products. They may seem like they are simply a way to earn money, but they have value like other assets and can be bought and sold. As such they need to be divided in a divorce. These are complicated matters though and consulting with an experienced attorney could be helpful.