Westborough Business Owner Divorce Lawyers
for Business Owners & Spouses in Divorce in Worcester County
In a Massachusetts divorce, you and your spouse will need to divide your marital assets and liabilities in a fair and equitable manner. This is frequently a matter of conflict for any couple. When this division includes a business or interest in a business, it can become even more complicated. The business may be the most financially valuable asset that you and/or your spouse own. It may be more valuable than the marital home and provide an income stream that supports you and your children. In such cases, both spouses generally believe that they should receive something from the business.
Many challenges can arise in such divorce situations for both parties. How to “divide” the business can involve many considerations concerning both the business itself, other factors related to the overall division of marital property, and the degree of conflict between the parties. The consequences of how the business is handled in this matter can be dramatic for both sides as well as the business itself. Having a divorce attorney who understands the importance of this issue and who has experience in resolving it is paramount. At O’Connor Family Law, you can work with a legal team that has practiced divorce and family law exclusively, brings 35 years of cumulative experience to the matter, and who has the knowledge and resources to guide you through this complex issue.
Schedule a consultation with one of our Worcester business owner divorce attorneys online or at (774) 315-4220 to discuss your division of property matter.
Business Division in Massachusetts Divorce
Many factors can impact the issue of dividing a business in divorce. These include tax considerations, the need to reinvest profits to keep the business running, and other key considerations involved in maintaining its successful operation. This can further be complicated by whether one or both spouses have ownership, whether both spouses have actively worked in the business and thus contributed to its viability, and overall divorce factors such as how long the couple have been married, each party’s earning capacity, and other considerations. Furthermore, if a valid prenuptial agreement exists, its terms may have a bearing on how this matter is decided.
In any marital property division, the asset must be given a value so that it can be determined how to equitably manage the division and distribution. This valuation may require the expert knowledge of business and financial professionals with specific experience in this field. Business valuation can involve accounting for all assets and liabilities held by the business, including its inventory, its accounts payable and receivable, any real property it owns, its “goodwill,” business debts, and its value appreciation over the life of the marriage.
Division of the business or the business interest can involve various scenarios based on the specifics of the case.
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These Divisions Can Include:
- The business owner spouse retains his or her full ownership while other valuable marital assets are designated to the other spouse to make a fair exchange. This generally only works when enough other non-business marital assets exist to compensate the non-business owner spouse.
- A portion of the business is designated to the non-business owner spouse. The business-owner spouse then buys out this interest portion from him or her through a lump sum payment or through installments.
- Where both spouses own the business, one is ordered by the court to surrender his or her share and is compensated for this through a lump sum or installments.
- Where the parties cannot agree on a buy-out, the business or its profits may need to be divided into their own separate entities.
Additionally, if the spouse who did not hold an interest in the business worked for the company, he or she may be given a credit for the value he or she added to the worth of the business during that employment. Another important factor in business property division is the date of valuation which can influence its overall final value. This is generally determined to be the date when the parties separated but this may vary based on the individual circumstances.
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