Law Offices of Barry I. Finkel, P.A.
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Splitting up your business in a divorce? Talk to your attorney

Life happened in an instant, didn't it?

In a span of just a few years, you met your partner, fell in love, got married and started that Florida business that has supported both of you and your kids well through the years.

But now, years later, life has slowed down. The kids are gone. You've decided the only thing holding you together is that business. Maybe a divorce is in your future.

Just how do you split up when your biggest asset has you anchored to each other?

Few people think about a relationship being torn apart when they are busy building a business together. If you didn't put paperwork in place to determine how you might divide the business in the event of a divorce, all is not lost, however. An attorney experienced in property division can represent your interests.

Here are some considerations as you ponder divorce:

1. Before things have a chance to get heated between the two of you, talk to your spouse about a postnuptial agreement. The agreement could lay out terms should one spouse decide to buy out the other or perhaps agreeing to sell the business and dividing the proceeds.

2. Have the company valued. There are three ways to do so: the asset approach, which values a company based on its inventory, equipment and properties; the market value, which determines the price it could sell for; and the income approach, which places a company's value on its record of earnings and its estimated future earnings.

3. Do you think your spouse has tried to devalue the company? That can be done by reducing the balance sheet by giving bonuses to employees or adding to the debt. That can be done to make the company less valuable. A judge would not look kindly at that, and if it is shown that was done, could place the value of the business at what it was before those transactions.

Think these things through and be prepared to discuss a plan of action when you meet with your attorney.

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