Divorce Lawyer Negotiates Division of Business Assets

Resolving business-division disputes in Westchester County

Determining how to divide a business in a divorce can be a complicated task. Through negotiation, mediation and litigation, Lauren B. Abramson, Esq. has helped clients resolve disputes over the division of business properties since 1987.

Must your business be divided in the divorce?

The first question is if the business is marital property. If you and your spouse started and operated the company together, it likely is marital property subject to New York’s equitable distribution laws.

If, however, you owned the business before the marriage, only the appreciation in the value of the business during the marriage is susceptible to being treated as marital property. If your spouse made no contribution — financially or otherwise — to the business, you may be in a position to argue that he or she is not entitled to even a share of the appreciation. The attorney and staff at the law offices of Lauren B. Abramson can help you sort out these issues.

How do I figure out how much the business is worth?

When dividing the assets in a high-net-worth divorce, it is critical to get a reliable analysis of the value of your business at the time of the marriage and at the time of the divorce. At the law offices of Lauren B. Abramson, we work with experienced business valuation experts to assemble unassailable evidence of the value of your business.

What if we both own the business?

If both spouses are equal owners of the business, there may be no need to divide the company — if you are willing and able to continue operating the business together despite the breakdown of your marriage. There are many factors to consider when faced with this situation, including:

  • If there are third-party owners
  • How much of the business each party owns
  • The extent to which the spouses are involved in the day-to-day operation of the business
  • If the parties have sufficient liquid assets to allow one to buy out the other
  • If either spouse is integral to the continuation of the business

How is business assets divided in a divorce?

If the business is in fact considered marital property, the division of the business is subject to the same laws as any other marital property. The court will consider many factors when deciding how to divide the assets, including:

  • Each party’s income and property at the time of the marriage compared with their income and property at the time of the divorce
  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age and health of both parties
  • If the parties have dependent children, whether the custodial parent needs to maintain the marital residence and household effects
  • Any potential loss of inheritance or pension rights due to the divorce
  • Alimony awarded, if any
  • Any equitable claim to, interest in, or direct or indirect contribution made to the acquisition of marital property by the spouse not having title, including the joint efforts, expenditures, contributions and services as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker, and to the career and career potential of the other party
  • The character (including liquidity) of all marital property
  • The probable future financial circumstances of each party
  • The impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component asset or any interest in a business, corporation or profession, and the economic desirability of retaining such asset or interest intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party
  • Potential tax consequences of each party
  • Waste of assets by either spouse
  • Transfers or encumbrances made in contemplation of divorce without fair consideration
  • Any other factor the court finds to be just and proper

Lauren B. Abramson understands a family’s long-term hopes for a business, including the possibility of passing the business on to the next generation. We work hard to help you achieve your goals.

Contact our Westchester County matrimonial law firm today

Lauren B. Abramson, Esq. understands that you have an emotional investment as well as a financial investment in your business. If you are a business owner whose marriage is dissolving, contact us today to begin protecting your business assets. Our office, which is across from Saxon Woods Park, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call us at 914-908-6829 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation. We serve clients throughout Westchester and Putnam counties, including White Plains, Harrison, New Rochelle, Bedford, Armonk, Bronxville, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Somers, Croton-on-Hudson, Carmel, Peekskill and Rye.