Many people in the greater Atlanta area earn all or a large part of their livings, and have a lot of their wealth, invested in their privately held businesses. Georgia residents may have a lot of emotional ties to their businesses as well. For example, these businesses are multi-generational, having been run by one of the spouse’s family members for decades.
When a person who owns a business is facing the breakup of their marriage, it can raise a lot of questions in their mind. Especially if it starts to seem that the divorce will be contentious, a business owner may start to worry about their own future as well as that of their business.
Business owners going through a divorce will deal with many legal issues
Divorces in which one of the spouses is involved in an established private business are complicated for a number of reasons.
- Like other assets, a spouse’s interest in their business could get divided by a judge in a way that the judge sees as fair to both spouses. A business owner may, under the right circumstances, be able to argue that some or all of their business investment is separate and not subject to division.
- The court will have to decide the value of the business in order to divide it fairly. Since private businesses do not have an easy-to-determine value, coming to an exact dollar value may require the help of financial experts.
- The court or the couple will have to decide exactly how to divide the business. Frequently, selling a person’s business investment or transferring it to the other spouse is not practical. A business owner may have to figure out how to buy out their spouse’s fair share by giving the other spouse cash or other property.
- If the business owner draws income from their organization, calculating their income for child support and alimony will be another important issue.
In short, business owners going through a divorce will be navigating a number of high-stakes legal issues. They will want to understand their options at every stage of the process.