During the divorce process, couples in Florida will negotiate how to split the life they built together. This can involve the division of property as well as child support and custody issues. If one or both of the spouses owned a business, they will also have to address how to deal with the business.
Prenups and postnups
If the spouses came into the marriage already owning a business, they might have drafted a prenup or postnup that addresses how to deal with the business in case of divorce. The agreement can be used in a straightforward manner during the division of property, particularly if the couple never commingled their finances, meaning they never used marital property, for example, to support the business.
To buy, negotiate or keep working together
If the business is considered marital property, however, there are different options available. These include:
• One spouse selling their interests to the other spouse, which can be paid for in one payment or over time
• One spouse yielding other property during the negotiations in exchange for their ex-spouse’s interest in the business
• Both spouses continuing to work in the business, which can have additional non-financial effects, such as increasing tensions in the workplace
What to be aware of
Businessowners who divorce might have to face a change in their role. For example, if you have business partners and your spouse becomes a business partner as well, you might no longer hold the same position. The business partners might not be welcoming of the other spouse’s participation. The workplace might become tense enough that you might decide to sell anyway. There might also be tax implications involved if the business is split or sold.
Signing a prenup or postnup drafted by a family law attorney may the best option to avoid complications later. However, be prepared for major changes in your business if you and your spouse decide to end your marriage.