On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Property division in Florida is required to be “equitable.” That does not mean that it will always be even, but it is supposed to be as fair as possible after considering each person’s circumstances. Business assets, however, are often treated slightly differently compared to other types of property in a divorce.
Keep in mind that in Florida, marital property includes all of the assets and liabilities that were acquired during the divorce. That can mean business interest as well.
Divorces that involve business assets can be extremely complicated. While this article provides an overview of what may happen, you should still talk to a Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney to help with this potentially complex situation.
How the Type of Business Affects Property Division
The type of business you have will have an effect on how it is treated in the divorce. For example, if you are a full or part owner of a corporation, you will have to value your particular interest in the business, and that value will be considered in the overall property division.
If, however, you are a sole proprietorship, every business asset is still considered yours personally. That means that what you would think business assets can still be divided between the couple in a divorce. The court will certainly consider if you use a particular asset in a business, but it is possible that you do not end up with that asset once all of the property has been divided.
Valuation of Your Business
Apart from the individual assets, your business likely has value as a whole. You will need to determine what the actual value of your business would be if you were to sell at the time of your divorce. Determining value is essential because your spouse may be able to receive half of the overall worth of the company.
You can value your business using a variety of methods, but the most common means is to hire a CPA or other business valuation expert. If the value is contested, your spouse may employ his or her own valuation expert as well. The court will then have to determine which expert is more credible or believable to decide on the actual value of the business for purposes of the divorce.
The valuation process can be incredibly intrusive and cumbersome. It can also be expensive. In some circumstances, it may be worth settling on a value amount between the parties instead of going through this extensive process.
Business owners have a lot of pride in their company. If one spouse built and maintains the business, it will be far easier to let him or her keep that asset and focus on other property to make the property division fair and equitable.
Get a Lawyer that Knows Business
Valuing businesses and business assets can be complicated. You need a Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney that has experience with this particular type of property in a divorce. The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances can help. Contact me to learn more.