On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Divorce on Friday, December 13, 2019.

Some people in Missouri who enjoy pizza from Papa John’s may be aware that the company founder, John Schnatter, stepped down in 2017. This followed a claim that he had uttered a racist statement during a conference call. On Dec. 5, his wife filed for divorce, listing him as “not employed”.

The couple have been married since 1987, and they separated in April. In the divorce papers, Schnatter’s wife described the marriage as “irretrievably broken”. The papers, which were filed in Kentucky, also say that there are shared real estate holdings. They have two children.

Also on Dec. 5, Schnatter filed papers against the advertising agency involved in the incident regarding the racist comment. Schnatter said he was recorded without consent and that the firm’s release of the recording violated their nondisclosure agreement. Schnatter has also complained that since his departure, the pizza is no longer as good.

In a divorce case like this one, there may be several complications for property division. If one person owns a business that was started before the marriage and the couple has a prenuptial agreement, that person may be able to keep the business. However, if there is not one, the other spouse may be able to claim a portion of the company’s appreciation in value. This percentage can be negotiated by the couple or determined in court. Factors taken into account might include whether the spouse took care of the children and the home, allowing the owner to build up the company. In this case, the former owner may simply have some shares in the business, but these may still be subject to division in a divorce. In a divorce in which the owner still runs the business, a former spouse could end up with voting rights or have another role in the company.