What will a divorce do to your business?

Divorce can bring many unexpected changes in your life. If you and your spouse have children, the change to your life while working through the parenting plan will likely be profound. The handoffs of your children every week, not having your kids on birthday’s or holidays, the cost of child support and the expense of a new home or apartment will all mean next year will feel very different from last year.

It will work other significant changes, especially if you own and operate a business with your spouse. The process of disentangling a business interest may be relatively straightforward or terribly complex.

Your primary decision point will be determining how to handle the change. You could stay in business, with both parties fully involved. This is the least expensive option and if you are able to separate your personal from your business life, and your business is robust and successful, you may be able to make it work.

On the other hand, if your relationship has become contentious and you harbor significant animosity toward your spouse, down to arguing over the flavors of soda in the vending machine, you may need to separate your business along with your marriage.

You have to decide how the separation will occur. If one wants to continue in business, and the other is happy to leave, the most important element will be arriving at a fair valuation of the business. If you can agree on an appraiser, it will save a great deal of expense and potential litigation.

Source:, “ Family Business,” Lora Murphy, March 7, 2016

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