When you and your spouse own a business together and are considering a divorce, how will the divorce process affect your Maryland business? At Jimeno & Gray, PA, our divorce attorneys have over 20 years of experience in helping divorcing business owners negotiate the division of their business assets.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a business owner’s divorce lawyer in Glen Burnie, MD.
Is a Business Separate Property or Marital Property?
Determining whether your business belongs solely to one spouse as separate property or is shared marital property can be a difficult step in the divorce process. You and your spouse may negotiate out of court on your own or using a mediator, but if you and your spouse still contest the division of the business, you may need the court to decide.
The court will consider several factors to determine each spouse’s share of the business, including:
- When the business was acquired in relation to the beginning of the marriage
- Whether the business was part of an inheritance to one spouse as beneficiary
- Contributions of each spouse to the business operations and success
- Earning potential tied to the business
- Each spouse’s income from the business
Options for Dividing Business Assets in a Divorce
Married couples with a business need to first get a professional appraisal to determine the real value of the business as a marital asset. A business owner’s divorce lawyer from our law firm can then help them determine an amenable path forward regarding the division of business assets, including:
- Allowing one spouse to keep the business while giving the other spouse a larger share of other marital assets
- One spouse buying out the other spouse’s share of the business
- Selling the business at fair market value and determining an equitable division from the sale
The primary concern of many divorcing business owners is the prospect of having to continue working with an ex-spouse because the court determined that both spouses had a right to a share of the business during a divorce.
What If the Business Is in a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement?
In some cases, the spouse who developed the business idea, inherited a family business, or purchased an existing business realized prior to or earlier in the marriage that the business and its income might become marital property. If the business is part of a prenup or postnup, Maryland will uphold the agreement as a legally binding contract between the spouses.
In some cases, a spouse can challenge the validity of a prenup or postnup agreement under certain circumstances. In some cases, the challenging spouse can prove that they signed the document under duress, coercion, or fraud, or that the agreement is unconscionable, meaning that the terms are grossly unfair for one spouse.
Contact the Maryland Business Owner’s Divorce Attorneys at Jimeno & Gray, PA
Dividing business assets during a divorce can be a complex process. Contact us at Jimeno & Gray, PA, to speak with a business owner’s divorce lawyer in Glen Burnie, MD. Call us at 443-232-9385 or contact us online to schedule a consultation for a business owner’s divorce anywhere in Maryland.