Handling business ownership interests in divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2021 | Divorce

When you and your Ohio spouse make the decision to part ways, you must divide up any assets and debts you share before moving forward with life on your own. While you must figure out how to handle your shared home, retirement accounts and other considerations, you may need to take additional steps if you both have private ownership interests in a business.

First, you need to figure out whether your business ownership interests involve what the state considers to be marital or separate property. In Ohio, anything accrued during the marriage typically belong to both parties. On the other hand, assets accrued before the marital union may constitute separate property. When you know how much of the business belongs to both of you and how much value it holds, you may decide to handle it in one of the following ways.

By selling it and splitting the proceeds

If neither you nor your ex wants to keep the business, you may want to sell it and split any profits you make between you. Market conditions and other variables may determine whether this is a wise option for you and your business.

By having one of you buy out the other

If you want to maintain control over the business and your ex does not, or if things are the other way around, one of you may be able to buy out the other party’s share of the business.

By continuing to operate the business together

If your split was not a particularly contentious one and you still communicate well with one another, you may want to continue to operate it together, at least for now.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for dividing business interests in a divorce. However, you and your ex may want to use one of these available options to do so.