If you’ve just been served with divorce papers, you’re thought order usually goes like this. What about my children? What do I need to do to maintain access to them? Then, if you’re like any other small business owner that I know you’re next thought is this, “What about my business?” Our legal team has met, discussed, reviewed, and evaluated the risks associated with divorce with hundreds of other small business owners.
How do I calculate what will happen to my business in my divorce?
What happens to your business during divorce depends on two important criteria. First, length of marriage relative to your years in business. This determines the proportionality of your business subject to community property. Second, the evaluators determination of your businesses’ estimated value. This latter number can be anywhere from dead on to a crapshoot. We’re okay with the former, but not okay with the later unless it’s in our client’s favor. Much more has been written about divorce business evaluations on our website.
If you want to avoid the risk altogether, then get a prenup. If you haven’t gotten one of those, then there are still some steps available to mitigate your risk.
I know it isn’t easy. Not only must you manage your business and the financial risks associated with running it, but now you are managing an unanticipated risk of your very life’s work being taken out from under you. Using the tools mentioned above, you’ll at least have a rudimentary idea of what value of your business is subject to loss to your wife and what you can do to mitigate that loss.
Should you get help?
Just ask yourself that question. You’ll know the answer. You don’t need us to tell you what you should do, you already know. If you still are looking for self-help assistance, we have provided some links above to other pages on our site that will give you additional information on community property, business evaluations, and risk mitigation, just look for the underlined text above. If you think you need help or if you’d like to setup a consultation one of our attorneys, please contact our office at (206) 633-2015 to arrange a consultation.