Divorce for Business Owners

Owners

Divorce Attorney in Illinois Serving Business Owners

When you file for divorce in Illinois and own a business with your spouse, the division of marital property can become particularly complicated and contentious. Even if your spouse is not a co-owner in the business, the equitable division of marital property can mean that you will need to have your business valued and that you may need to consider selling or dissolving the business as part of the divorce. What do business owners need to know about divorce?

An experienced Illinois divorce attorney can speak with you today about your case. At the law office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, we are committed to providing legal assistance to business owners who are going through a divorce.

Valuing Business Assets and the Division of Marital Property

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (I.M.D.M.A.), marital property in Illinois is subject to division, and this can include businesses and related business assets. In most situations where spouses co-own the business, or even when only one of the spouses is technically the business owner, the business itself likely will be classified as marital property. Unless any of the following are true, it is more likely than not that the business will be subject to division as marital property:

  • Business was formed prior to the marriage and only non-marital assets went into running the business;
  • Spouses have a valid premarital agreement in which the business and related assets are not subject to division in the event of a divorce;
  • The business was gifted to one of the spouses or inherited by one of the spouses; or
  • Business was formed after a legal separation judgment.

There may be some other situations in which the business is not subject to division, but these situations are relatively rare. As such, if you are a business owner and are getting divorced, you should plan ahead to keep your business.

Retaining Your Business When Marital Property is Divided

If the business is indeed classified as marital property, what can you do to ensure that you are able to keep your business running during and after the divorce? An article in Entrepreneur Magazine recommends some of the following important steps prior to the distribution of marital property:

  • Keep very detailed business records that make clear when separate (or non-marital) property has been used to run parts of the business or to keep the business going;
  • Be willing to give up other marital assets during the phase of property division, which can ultimately mean that you will be able to keep the business if you are willing to forego, for instance, equity in the marital home;
  • Seek a fair valuation of the business from a valuation expert; and
  • Consider making payments to the other spouse for his or her share of the business over an extended period of time.

An experienced divorce attorney can help with your case.

Contact a Divorce Attorney in Illinois with Experience Helping Business Owners

Do you have a business? Are you getting divorced? It is important to have an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer on your side. An advocate at the law office of Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. can speak with you today about your case and your options. Contact us for more information about our experience helping business owners through divorce in Illinois.

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