5 Tips for Handling Business Interests in a Florida Divorce
Divorce has implications for almost every aspect of your life, and one of the primary issues in the process is dividing marital assets. Florida’s divorce statute requires an equitable distribution of all marital property, which can create some complications when one of these items is your ownership interest in a business. Regardless of whether one or both of you is involved in running the company, dividing it up can be much more complicated than deciding who gets to keep the house.
Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to minimize the risks of disruption and keep your business on track through divorce proceedings. The first step is to retain a knowledgeable Florida property division attorney, who can walk you through key tips on handling business interests in divorce.
- Get a Business Valuation First: You’ll eventually need to establish the value of the company, so it’s best to accomplish this early on in divorce proceedings. There are different approaches to business valuation, so you’ll need to determine which method is appropriate for your circumstances. The evaluation should include whether any portion of the business is Personal Goodwill which can not be allocated.
- Consider Your Options: Once you know what the company is worth, it’s time to decide what you want to do with it. While it’s rare that both parties will continue to run the business as they always have, it’s entirely possible to maintain the status quo with proper negotiations and compromise. Other options include:
- One spouse buying out the other based upon the value of the business, which is common when he or she primarily owns or operates it; or,
- Selling the company to a third party, and then dividing the proceeds.
- Settle Amicably Whenever Possible: As with many other aspects of a Florida divorce, reaching compromise is more effective in dealing with a business than attempting to “win” against your spouse. You’ll need to focus on what matters most, which is maximizing the value of the company and getting your fair share – not getting every penny you can out of spite.
- Separate Business from Your Personal Life: If you do decide to both remain involved, either as co-operators or where one party only has an ownership interest, you need to be mindful in maintaining the line between professional and personal. Don’t think of the other individual as being your ex-spouse; he or she is an owner, employee, executive, or other participant as the case may be. The future of your company is at stake, and your success mandates that your sole focus be the business.
- Work with an Experienced Florida Divorce Lawyer
When dealing with complex business interests in divorce, you’ll need experienced legal help in achieving a property division that maintains operations and value. For additional tips and advice on how to handle your interests, please contact a Dade City property division lawyer at the Law Office of Laurie R. Chane to set up a consultation. Our team serves clients in Dade City and all of Pasco County in a wide range of family law matters, so call 352-567-0055 or go online to schedule your appointment.