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Your business: 3 tips for a smooth division during divorce

You and your spouse built up your business from nothing. The business and the hard work you put in has worked out, but your marriage isn't in a good place. You both believe a divorce is the right answer, but you need to make sure your business is assessed fairly and divided in the correct manner.

Dividing a business can be hard, but if you're willing to consider different options, you may find exactly what works for your situation. Whether you keep your business open or close it, there are ways you can divide it fairly during divorce.

1. Look at your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

If you have a pre- or postnuptial agreement, now is the time to review it. Does it address your business? If so, what did you agree would happen if you got a divorce? If each partner, for example, has a 50 percent share after divorce, then that settles how the business is split. You would still need to decide if you want to keep the business open or close it and sell it on to another party.

2. Consider buying out your spouse

If you or your spouse would like to keep the business as a solo owner, consider buying out the other party. Your business likely has a particular value. Assuming you each own a 50 percent share, one party would need to buy out the other with an equal number of assets or cash.

3. Think about working together

Sometimes, marital relationships don't work out, but business relationships do. Maybe you work well together and want to continue to grow your business, but you don't want to be in a romantic relationship any longer. If that's the case, you may want to determine who has what share of the business and continue to work together. Your attorney can help you draw up a new contract, too, so you know exactly where you stand as a co-owner.

These are three possibilities that you can consider for your business assets. Your attorney can help you come up with the right plan that addresses your concerns.

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