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Does divorce mean carving up the family business?

It is usually sad when a marriage comes to an end. For many New Jersey residents facing divorce, this may signify the end of a personal relationship spanning many years. There are some couples who set up in business together, and a divorce may also mean the end of a working relationship.

If the parties are able to maintain an amicable association with each other, then it may be possible for them to continue in business together. However, this is not always feasible, and is dependent on a number of factors. In some circumstances, divorce may lead to the end of the business, which may be the least desirable outcome. However, there are a number of options that a couple may consider when deciding on the best way forward for the future.

The first step will be obtaining a valuation of the business. This would not be limited to physical assets or cash, but can also include a monetary value for goodwill. It may also be necessary to establish how much input each spouse had into the business. This can affect not only the percentages allocated to each party, but can be a deciding factor for either spouse about whether to consider continuing the business alone. It may also mean that one spouse may decide to offset the value of his or her share in favor of other marital assets.

New Jersey residents who are facing divorce should seek professional advice appropriate to their circumstances. When a business is involved, this may require the help of a financial advisor and/or accountant in addition to legal counsel. Once all the facts have been established, it will be possible to make an informed decision on the most positive way forward.

Source:, "What will happen to my business if I get a divorce?", Miriam Cooper, Sept. 6, 2017

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