Bucks County Self-Employed Divorce/Owning a Business Attorney
Navigating a divorce settlement is often complex, but issues can become even more complicated if one or both spouses are self-employed or own a business. Valuing and allocating business interests can be extremely difficult, which is why you should always have an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney representing your interests in a case. At the law office of Kardos, Rickles & Hand our Bucks County self-employed divorce attorneys are prepared to handle this and all other issues that may arise in your divorce. Call or contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more.
Determining if a Business is Separate or Marital Property
The first step in a divorce where a business is involved is determining whether the company is separate or marital property. If the business was created by one spouse prior to the wedding, and marital funds were never used to operate or maintain the business, it may qualify as a separate asset in a divorce. However, if the business was created during the marriage or marital funds were intermingled with the company during the marriage it could be considered a marital asset and subject to equitable distribution in a Pennsylvania divorce.
Options for Business Property Distribution
As a business owner, you have a couple of options if your business interests are subject to property distribution in a Pennsylvania divorce. The first option is to split the interests with your spouse, although this is not a popular option. Depending on the business entity, your partners or shareholders may have the option to buy out your spouse’s share in the company. Another option is to leverage other marital assets in exchange for your spouse’s share in the business. If you cannot pay outright in the distribution of property, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan with your spouse to purchase the remaining interest in the company over time.
How to Protect Your Business in a Divorce
There are steps that you can take prior to filing for divorce to protect your business interests. The easiest way is to sign a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that details the property interests in the business as solely yours. You should also always keep business and marital funds separate, and never use marital assets for your company.
Make sure that you pay yourself a competitive salary, as your spouse can claim an interest to make up for lost income if you reinvest everything back into the business. Finally, include options in your operating agreement that give first right of refusal for other owners to purchase the business interest in cases of divorce, and fire your spouse if they are employed by the company.
Call or Contact Our Office Now
Do you have concerns about your business interests in a Bucks County divorce? If so, call the office or contact us today at Kardos, Rickles & Hand to schedule a consultation of your case with one of our knowledgeable divorce attorneys to learn more about your legal options.