How Can You Protect Your Business During Divorce In Florida?
As a business owner, you have spent years building a successful company. If you are getting a divorce, you may think you will lose it and even just the thought is devastating. You are proud of your business, and it provides an income that has supported your family. You likely hope it will continue to support you post-divorce. So, is it possible to protect your business and keep it once your marriage has ended?
Unfortunately, there is no one answer that applies to every situation. However, you can follow some guidelines and tips to protect your business during the divorce process. Below, one of our Tampa asset and debt attorneys explains further.
How Does Property Division Works in Florida?
In Florida, property division during divorce follows equitable distribution laws. This means that marital property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, during the divorce process. Marital property refers to any property or debt the couple acquired together during the marriage. Any property acquired before the marriage is separate property and is generally owned solely by the spouse who obtained it.
Even when a business was started before a marriage, it is still usually considered marital property. The profits from a business are often used to contribute to household expenses and this commingling of assets classifies the business as a marital asset. Marital funds are also often used to contribute to the business. For example, if the company needs a new piece of equipment, household funds may be used to pay for it.
To keep a business as separate property, it must have been started before the marriage and profits and marital funds must be kept completely separate. This rarely happens and so, most businesses are subject to property division during divorce.
How Can You Protect Your Business in Divorce?
Once a business is classified as marital property, there are three options for dividing it. These are as follows:
- Selling the business and dividing the process between the two spouses,
- Allowing both spouses to continue owning and operating the business together, and
- Valuing the business and allowing the owner to buy out their spouse for their share of the company.
Of course, if your priority is to protect the business and keep it yourself, selling the property is not an option. Also, unless you and your spouse owned the business together during the marriage, continuing to operate it together post-divorce is likely not a practical option. As such, you will likely have to value the business and pay your spouse for their portion of the company they own. You and your spouse may also agree to give them more assets and property of equal or greater value.
Our Asset and Debt Attorneys in Tampa Can Help Protect Your Business
If you are a business owner worried about your company during divorce, our Tampa asset and debt attorneys at All Family Law Group, P.A. can advise you of your options and give you the best chance of keeping your business. Call us today at 813-672-1900 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation and to get the sound advice you need. Se habla Español.