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Common Issues Related to Dividing Business Assets in Divorce

Posted in Divorce, Family Law on Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

You recognize that divorce is difficult. There are the emotional hurdles – in addition to financial hurdles (not to mention matters related to your children if there are minor children involved). This is true for all divorces, but if your divorce involves a business, you can expect it to be that much more challenging, and you need the professional legal counsel of a dedicated Joliet divorce attorney with extensive experience in this complex aspect of property division on your side. 

Separate Property vs. Marital Property

Any property that you and your spouse acquired over the course of your marriage (regardless of who made the purchase or whose name is on it) is marital property, and in the State of Illinois, this property must be split equitably (or fairly given the involved circumstances) between you in the event of a divorce. Any property that you bring into the marriage with you and keep separate throughout, however, will remain your separate property. 

If one of you brought a business with you into your marriage – and kept it separate throughout, which is difficult to accomplish for wide-ranging reasons – that business will remain your separate property, but any increase in value is considered marital property (to be divided equitably), and this is just the tip of an immense iceberg of complications when it comes to business ownership and divorce. 

If your Business Is Marital Property

If your business is marital property to begin with, the complications inherent to dividing it in divorce can be immense. Consider the following:

  • If you both work at the business, it represents both your livelihoods, which makes dividing the business fairly very difficult indeed. Even if one of you buys the other out, he or she will have to walk away without a job or the business. 
  • Dividing the business itself might diminish its value – if it is even feasible under the circumstances. 
  • It can be very difficult to put a price tag on the blood, sweat, and tears you pour into a business, which makes walking away with nothing but a check challenging. 
  • Putting a value on the business that you can both agree to can be one of the most complicated aspects of dividing a business in divorce, and there can be a lot more variance in valuations than you might realize. 
  • Even if you do hammer out a division that you are both willing to sign off on, coming up with the necessary funding (or an equal share of alternative assets) can be a hefty financial hurdle. 

If your divorce involves the division of a business, you can expect the process to take longer, but protecting your financial rights is too important to rush the matter. 

Turn to an Experienced Joliet Divorce Attorney for the Skilled Legal Guidance You Need

If you are facing a divorce involving a business, the focused Joliet divorce attorneys at Sabuco Beck, PC understand the seriousness of the matter and have a wealth of impressive experience helping clients like you achieve beneficial property-division terms. For more information about how we can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. 

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