Montgomery County Self-Employed & Business-Owner Divorce Attorney
Once upon a time, these issues did not come up very frequently in divorce cases. Today, however, there are almost forty million small businesses in the United States. Furthermore, most American workers freelance, at least on the side. As a result, the emotional and financial issues involved with self-employed or business-owner spouses permeate many of the marriage dissolutions in Montgomery County.
Most of the professional team members at Kardos, Rickles & Hand are either self-employed or they are business owners. So, our Montgomery County business-owner divorce attorneys understand the financial and emotional issues which are involved. This insight helps us develop cost-effective and long-lasting solutions which uphold your legal and financial rights, both now and in the future. Additionally, we know how frequently these financial and emotional issues change. When that happens, we are still here.
Generally, business owners are away from home a lot. The same thing is true for self-employed individuals or people with evening and weekend side hustles. In marriage situations, these spouses sacrifice family time to better establish financial security.
Frequently, there is at least an informal compact between the spouses that one will stay at the office while the other attends school plays. If that’s the case, neither spouse should be punished during a divorce’s child custody phase. Unfortunately, if the compact was informal, it’s often difficult to prove.
This part of the landscape might be uncertain, but Pennsylvania’s co-parenting law applies nonetheless. This law presumes that children benefit from frequent and consistent contact with both parents. Parenting patterns during the marriage are a factor, but they are not dispositive.
Self-employed and business owner divorces have unique sets of financial challenges. These challenges usually involve determining income or classifying property.
Employment income is relatively easy to verify with paystubs and W-2s. Self-employment income is different. It’s not just difficult to verify. This income is also very inconsistent. There are always peaks and valleys.
So, an attorney must dig deeper. That usually means reviewing months and months of bank statements, LLC and other corporate records, business contracts, and future prospects. These things are time-consuming, but necessary to bring about an equitable property division.
In terms of assets, a business is almost nothing like a 401(k) or a rental house. It might not be a good idea to simply sell the business and divide the proceeds equitably. One spouse, or perhaps both of them, might want the business to continue operating.
Division is complex as well. Assume Mary had a struggling dental practice before she married Chris, who used his management skills to turn Mary’s practice around. If Chris and Mary divorce, there may be some dispute as to the proper percentage of ownership, even though Mary’s name is above the door.
An equitable distribution, as opposed to an equal division, is always the goal in these situations. Even if the parties reach an out-of-court settlement, if it does not equitably divide property and income, the judge might not approve it.
Count on an Experienced Attorney
Self-employment divorces involve special emotional and financial issues. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Montgomery County, contact Kardos, Rickles & Hand. We routinely handle matters in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.