Business Owners & Divorce

Handling Business Owners & Divorce Cases

Few things complicate the division of marital property, which is arguably one of the most challenging divorce terms, more than business ownership. If you are facing a divorce in which a business is involved, don’t delay consulting with a dedicated Chicago divorce attorney who has extensive experience successfully handling complicated cases like yours. 

The Division of Marital Property

In Illinois, the division of marital property upon divorce must be equitable – or fair – in relation to a wide range of factors. Anything that you, your spouse, or both of you together came to own while you were married is included in this division. While your separate assets will remain your own, they must be kept separate over the course of your marriage.

If you came to own a business while you were married, it’s marital property that will need to be addressed in the division of your marital property. Even if one of you owned the business prior to marriage and kept it scrupulously separate while you were married, any increase in the value of the business belongs to both of you and must be addressed upon divorce.

The Business’s Value

In order to address the division of a business’s value, you’ll need a valuation that you are both able to agree upon. The fact is that valuing a business is a complicated matter that can be addressed in a range of ways, and it isn’t uncommon for divorcing spouses to disagree on the final value. It’s important to note that the matter doesn’t necessarily end there.

Your business is almost certainly your highest asset, which can make buying out one spouse’s interest in it exceptionally challenging. This is not to mention the fact that selling a business in order to address the division of marital property can leave both of you with considerably less than your share of its actual worth – due to the vagaries of selling a business as a matter of financial need rather than well-considered strategy.  

The Complications Don’t End There

The matter of your business can become even more complicated from here. Consider all the following:

  • If you both work at the business, one of you will likely need to walk away from your livelihood, which can make taking the next steps into your financial future more difficult. 
  • The tax implications of business ownership are considerable and must be taken into careful consideration in terms of your divorce.
  • A business can make it far easier to hide assets or complicate them to the point that they’re difficult to address fairly. 

In other words, having professional legal counsel on your side is paramount. 

Make the Call to an Experienced Chicago Divorce Lawyer Today

Business ownership can complicate your divorce significantly, but the capable Chicago divorce attorneys at Hammer Serna & Quinn have an impressive array of experience guiding challenging cases like yours toward advantageous outcomes that protect our clients’ financial rights and best interests. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Get In Touch

Call or email Hammer Serna & Quinn, LLC today to schedule a consultation.