You have spent years building your business. Your spouse may have helped you in your work or acted as your partner in business as well as in life. Now that you are getting a divorce, what is going to happen to the business that you have built?
Is your business considered community property?
Texas is a community property state, which means that the property you acquire during the course of your marriage is considered jointly owned unless you can make the case that it belongs to only you and your spouse.
If you owned your business before your marriage, it may be considered your separate property. However, if your spouse contributed to the business or if you used a joint bank account to fund your business, it can be difficult to determine how to handle that contribution. This commingling can result in your business being divided alongside the rest of your property.
During property division, you or your spouse may buy the other out.
If your business is considered community property, you have several options. You might, for example, decide that one spouse will buy the other’s share in the business and become sole owner. You may also choose to let your spouse claim another piece of valuable property—the family home, for example—in exchange for ownership of the business.
You may choose to continue doing business together.
If you and your spouse have been successful as business partners, you may be able to continue running your business even after your marriage has ended. This can be a difficult task for many exes, however, and will require both of you to put your business interests before any personal conflict.
You may choose to sell your business.
If you cannot continue business with your spouse or buy each other out, you may be left with the need to sell your business. This can be a time-consuming process, and, according to Forbes, you will need to discuss a number of details with your spouse. This includes the minimum price you will accept and how you want your business to be run during the period before the sale. By establishing your expectations early on in the divorce process, you can avoid conflict about the business’s sale while you are also negotiating your divorce.
Handling your business during a divorce can be especially challenging, and it is important to work with a lawyer you trust. They can help you explore the options available to you and ensure both that your needs are met and that you can continue to achieve your business goals in the future.