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How do you divide business assets in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2021 | Divorce |

If a business owner files for divorce in Illinois, they might be surprised to learn that their spouse is entitled to a share of the business assets even if they weren’t part of the daily operations. The situation becomes even more complicated if the spouses are co-owners of the same business. Here are a few ways they could resolve the issue during the asset division process.

How can you divide up your business with your spouse?

It’s unlikely but not impossible for both people to maintain control of the business after their divorce. If you and your former spouse are on good terms, you might be able to work in different areas of the same business. You might also take control of the business and agree to give your spouse a portion of the profits.

However, many couples need a clean break from each other. If that’s the case, you might have to buy out your spouse’s interests in the business. Keep in mind that some businesses can only be owned by a licensed professional. For example, if your former spouse is a doctor who owns their own business, you won’t be able to buy them out unless you’re also a licensed physician.

If you can’t come to an agreement, you might simply sell off the business and divide the profits between yourselves. This isn’t an ideal solution if you wanted to keep the business, but it allows you to cut ties with your former spouse and move on with your life. You might be able to use the profits to start a new business after the divorce has been finalized.

How do you decide how your assets will be divided?

Signing a prenuptial agreement before you get married can help you protect your business interests. If you failed to sign a prenup, you could also sign a postnuptial agreement at any point during your marriage. The judge will abide by the agreement in the prenup as long as the document is valid. If you didn’t sign any agreements before your divorce, a family law attorney may help you divide up your properties with your former spouse.