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What happens to business assets in the event of divorce?

When a couple decides to enter marriage, they think of their future together. This outlook changes once the couple decides to part ways and divorce. In Missouri, as elsewhere in the country, married couples who start their own businesses and companies together face unique challenges when their marriages begin to fell apart. They inevitably have to face the question: what will happen to the business assets now that the couple has decided to divorce?

Setting emotions aside - which may be hard to do - it is important for divorcing individuals to consider what will happen to employees in the event the business is sold and proceeds are divided between the divorcing individuals. A business establishment does not need to stop operation just because married business partners are heading to divorce. Setting aside emotional issues that may be largely based in personal differences can make being rational during divorce easier and keep the business from falling apart.

If the couple cannot agree to salvage the business as a whole and split assets are inevitable, the next step is to hire an independent business appraiser. A considerable number of issues need to be discussed to ensure fair and just division of business assets, something an independent appraiser can do to the mutual benefit of both parties.

State laws will govern several aspects of the division of business assets, including taxation. To reach a more favorable outcome that maximizes both parties' gains and minimizes their losses, the business appraiser and the legal professionals who represent the divorcing parties should agree on a strategy and valuation methods.

The golden rule in property division is to be transparent. Failure to disclose all property and assets during the legal process can result in legal penalties as well as unending disputes and bitter feelings, dragging the divorce case into an unknowable and uncertain future.

Source: Wtxl.com, "Do love and business mix?," Feb. 10, 2014

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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