When you own a business, the idea of divorce can be downright terrifying. You may be asking yourself, “Is my spouse entitled to half of my business?” Before you start to panic, you should discuss the specifics of your case with a Pasadena divorce lawyer at Gille Law Group. An experienced family law firm, like ours, will know how to navigate even the most complicated aspects of your divorce.
Not only do we bring more than 80 years of experience to the table, but our team is also headed by a Certified Family Law Specialist. We have successfully handled all types of family law matters, so you can trust that your future will be in good hands when you partner with us. Get started today by scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team.
Your Business: Separate or Community Property?
When evaluating what your spouse is entitled to, in terms of your business, characterization and valuation will play a big part. First, you will need to determine whether the business is separate property, community property, or a combination of the two. If your business was established prior to the marriage, there is a good chance that at least part of it will be separate property.
To determine the “separate” nature of your business, the following must be considered:
- How long had the business been established prior to the marriage?
- How profitable was the business prior to the marriage?
- What was the value of the business at the time of the marriage?
- Has the business become more or less valuable since marriage?
- How much of the value change resulted from community efforts?
“What If I Started the Business with My Own Money?”
Just because the business was started during your marriage does not necessarily mean that it will be considered community property. For example, if you started the business with money that you had before the marriage, money that was gifted to you from family or money that you invested from a separate property source, that investment may create a separate property interest.
Even so, your spouse may still be entitled to a portion of the business if “the community” also put time or money into the business. From there, you will need to ask whether or not this involvement contributed to the profitability of the business. This is where things can get a little tricky, which is why it is highly recommended that you work with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer.
How Property Division Can Affect Spousal Support
If your spouse is asking for half of your business but also wants support, you should be careful. When you are being asked to pay alimony from your business’ profits, while also being asked to divide the community property part of the business, your spouse may come out of the divorce with more than 50%. Luckily, certain adjustments can be made with the proper guidance.
Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation Today
In many cases, property division is one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. When a business is involved, matters become that much more complicated. This is why you should seek the counsel of an experienced and aggressive divorce attorney in Pasadena who can fight to protect your rights. Gille Law Group can provide expert representation from a Board Certified Specialist, so don’t wait to call. We have the skills and resources to safeguard your interests.
Have questions about your divorce? Get the answers you need by calling us for a free consultation.