The Law Offices of
Dawn K. Gull

Providing Family Law Representation In Western
Pennsylvania.

Dawn K. Gull

What happens to the family business in the event of a divorce?

| Aug 10, 2020 | Property Division |

Married couples in the Wexford area may have earned their living together by co-owning a family business. However, even though they may have seen lucrative financial success as business owners, their marriage may not have been as successful, and they may eventually decide to divorce. When this happens, it is important to understand what their options are for the family business in the property division process.

One spouse keeps the business

One option, and perhaps the most common one, is for one spouse to keep the business, buying out their ex’s interest in it. The amount of the buy-out will be calculated based upon the appraised value of the business. There may also be tax advantages to such transactions, depending on the circumstances. If the spouse keeping the business doesn’t have enough assets to buyout their ex’s share outright, payment plans may be made part of the divorce settlement.

Both spouses keep the family business

Another option that may work for some is for both spouses to keep the business. While this may make financial sense and business sense, it is important to note that continuing to run a business together means that both spouses will need to be able to communicate effectively and cooperate post-divorce. Having a clear outline on who will be responsible for what duties can help.

Both spouses sell the family business

Finally, sometimes spouses choose to sell the family business in a divorce. This clean break offers both spouses the opportunity to move forward in whatever direction they choose post-divorce. However, it can take time to sell a business, extending the amount of time it takes to complete the divorce. Nevertheless, selling the business and splitting the profits made from the sale may be more attractive to some than keeping the business.

Think carefully when it comes to the family business and divorce

In the end, no two businesses — and no two divorces — are the same. What works for one couple regarding property division and the family business may not work for another couple. Family law attorneys in Pennsylvania understand the nuances of the property division process and can be of assistance to businessowners seeking a divorce.