Although divorcing spouses oftentimes work together during the legal process to divide assets in a fair manner, there are times when a unique asset can cause friction, even when the spouses are negotiating amicably. Business assets, particularly a family business, can be difficult to approach in the property division part of a divorce case. But, there are options for soon-to-be ex-spouses to consider when it comes to a family business and the impact on that business in a divorce.
For starters, the divorcing couple may decide that one of them will keep the business, while the other will be “bought out” or will relinquish interest in the business in exchange for other marital assets. This type of arrangement is particularly useful when one spouse has done more to run or operate the company, or even if one spouse founded the business without the other spouse’s help.
Alternatively, the divorcing couple could decide that they will keep the business as a jointly held asset, even after the divorce. However, couples who are thinking about this approach need to carefully consider whether their relationship post-divorce can withstand frequent, perhaps even daily, interaction.
Lastly, the divorcing couple could decide that the best and most fair way to deal with business assets in the divorce is to sell off the assets. Then, the proceeds of the sale can be divided in a more “black and white” manner, since the proceeds will typically be cash. No matter how a divorcing couple in New Jersey decides to deal with the complex issue of dividing business assets in the case, it is important to focus on the long-term goal of moving forward in post-divorce life.