The Relationship Between My Company and My Divorce
Divorce can have a profound impact on a business. Not only is your company usually thrown into chaos when a married couple decides to get divorced, but the strain on a business’s finances and operations can be significant. If you are in the midst of a divorce, it’s important to manage the situation as best you can. The Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell is your specialist Sarasota and Bradenton divorce business lawyer and can help you understand the effects of a divorce on your business.
How Can A Divorce Affect My Business?
Although Florida is not a community property state, it does have equitable distribution of marital property law. This means that any marital assets that are owned by one spouse can still be divided up between the two of you 50/50. The division may not ultimately be equal, but it can still have a significant impact on your business. A judge will ultimately decide how to divide the assets of the marriage in your divorce and you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on how to do so on your own.
There is a likelihood that you could keep your business, but you have to give up a percentage of the current and future profits. More likely is that business assets such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, and real estate will be divided up. Also, in some cases, the court will determine that the business should be liquidated. Less likely is that you may be required to share running the business with your ex-spouse after the divorce. This is often a last resort, and the court will only do this if there is no other way to divide the assets. This whole situation often requires specialized legal help, such as a Sarasota divorce business lawyer near you like Attorney Matthew Martell.
How Is Fair Business Asset Division Determined?
There are several factors that the court will consider when figuring out how to divide the company assets. Judges often consider the following: How long have you been married? When was the business acquired? Have you commingled business and personal expenses? Does your spouse work for the business? Does your spouse get paid or receive other direct financial benefits from the business? Does your spouse hold a corporate officer position in your company?
The judge will then try to figure out what will be a fair and equitable division of business assets that meets the needs of both parties. The court normally tries to do this in a way so that the business can continue to be run but only by one spouse after the divorce since it is assumed that if you cannot live together anymore that you also cannot work together and run a business together anymore. However, if the situation becomes too messy and difficult to deal with, the court can just order that the company be sold. This is why it is so important to make sure you have an experienced divorce business attorney near you in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida like Attorney Matthew Z. Martell in order to make sure that your company’s legal interests are protected.
Can My Business Be Considered Separate Non-Marital Property?
This depends on when and how you acquired the business. In Florida, assets are considered pre-marital and separate if they were acquired before the marriage. They may also be considered non-marital if they were acquired during the marriage, but only if they were given as a gift by someone outside the marriage, or if it were the result of an inheritance. If the business was acquired after the marriage, it is generally considered marital property. Marital property is subject to equitable division.
Other factors that determine if your company is marital or non-marital include: the existence of a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement; the existence of an operating agreement; the existence of a buy-sell agreement; the existence of a shareholder agreement regarding right of first refusal for sale upon death, disability, and/or divorce; whether your spouse works for the business; and if your personal and business debts are kept separate. A knowledgeable Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice, Florida divorce business lawyer near me like Attorney Matthew Martell can help you figure out if you your business is separate non-marital property or if it should be considered a marital asset.
What Else Can My Sarasota and Bradenton Divorce Business Attorney Do For Me?
The Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell has Sarasota and Bradenton divorce business attorney that local residents need. We have experience handling divorce cases involving small businesses, high-net worth divorces, complex asset and property divisions, and other more difficult family law issues. We have helped many clients throughout Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida deal with the financial impact of a divorce on their business by getting the most favorable outcome possible. If you are serious about retaining us, then please contact our law firm at (941) 556-7020 to schedule an Initial Office Visit.