Whether your life’s work or a side project, a business is an important piece of your overall asset picture, and if you’re heading towards divorce, you might be worried about what could happen to all your hard work. People rightly worry about what will happen to this business when they divorce. In Ohio, several different scenarios could end up in a division or sale of the business.
When the Business is Considered Marital
If all or part of the business is considered marital property, your spouse could be entitled to a portion of the value as part of the equitable property division.
Generally speaking, the property is marital if it was obtained while married. So if you opened your business after walking down the aisle, it is likely marital. Under Ohio’s property division laws, marital property is divided “equitably,” which often means 50/50.
Even a business started before marriage could partially be marital. Most businesses grow over time, and if the value of the business increases during the marriage, then part of the company’s value may be up for division.
Dividing the Value of the Business
Even if the business is marital, there are certain things you can do instead of being obligated to pay your spouse for his/her one-half of the marital portion. For example, a property division agreement could allocate other property to your spouse while allowing you to retain possession and control of the business.
However, an experienced divorce attorney may argue that your spouse should not be forced to accept other off-setting property. If an agreement is not reached, a judge could still allocate assets to offset the value of the business or require the business-owning spouse to “buy out” the other spouse.
If you’re facing divorce and either you or your spouse own a business, you’ll certainly want aggressive and reputable representation on your side. For those in Mason or Hamilton, call Garretson & Holcomb, LLC today at (513) 863-6600 to learn more.