When couples in California divorce, one of the primary goals of the dissolution process is asset division. This process can become more difficult when one or both spouses is a business owner.
Businesses are considered assets in a divorce. Just as it becomes necessary to decide on a division of retirement plans and real estate, a couple will have to determine what happens to a business in a divorce. Entrepreneurs may have to document their business’s financial status so that the lawyers can negotiate a settlement. If it becomes impossible to work out a settlement, a judge will have to make a determination.
In the case of a high asset divorce, what happens to a business may require a fair amount of expertise on the part of legal and financial professionals. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs try to “go it alone” and either attempt to hide assets or fail to fully understand how California divorce law works. The results can be financially devastating, particularly if a judge believes that the business owner deliberately attempted to falsify the financial situation of the business as a way to avoid splitting assets with his or her former spouse.
Entrepreneurs and business owners may benefit from speaking with an attorney who focuses on family law. The lawyer might be able to review the client’s case, assets and business and get a “big picture” understanding of the client’s situation. Using that information, the attorney might be able to provide the client with information on how to legally and ethically protect themselves, and their business, during the divorce process. Attorneys might also be able to address other divorce related issues, such as child custody and ongoing spousal maintenance.