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What happens when business partners divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2018 | Divorce |

The average divorce can be complicated enough, but when divorcing spouses are also business partners, there can be a lot of confusion about what will happen to their business.

The best thing you can do in this situation is to gather the facts and familiarize yourself with all of your options before making any decisions.

A business is considered property

Oklahoma is an equal-distribution state, meaning a judge has the discretion to divide assets in a way that is equal when considering needs, income and contributions of each spouse. In Oklahoma, your business is considered marital property. Therefore, it is subject to division if you started or purchased it during your marriage with joint funds, which is likely the case if you and your spouse are business partners.

Know the value of the business

You will not be able to adequately determine how your divorce may impact your business if you do not know the value of your business. This is why one of the first things you should do is get your own independent valuation done by a professional.

A valuation will calculate the businesses assets, liabilities, appreciation and fair market value. It may also help prevent your spouse from disguising the company’s real value or using the business to hide assets.

Determine how to split

When you know what the business is worth, you and your spouse must then determine what you will do with the company. Some options include:

  • You could sell the business and divide the proceeds between you and your spouse.
  • One of you could buy the other one out. If there are more partners, the other partners could buy out you or your spouse.
  • You could both remain invested in the business partnership despite your divorce.

Get a second opinion

Every situation is unique, so determining what you should do with your share of the business is ultimately up to you. However, it is best to make sure you have all the information you need, so you can make the best decision you are able to make.