The process of dividing a spouse’s business during a marital breakup can be tricky. One spouse might have worked hard to start and grow the company, but the other spouse will likely still be entitled to part of this asset. Here is a look at how businesses are generally handled during divorce in New York.
Ownership of the property
If a divorcing spouse does not have ownership rights in the company that his or her spouse started, the other spouse may have the right to sell the business prior to the finalizing of the divorce. However, the majority of courts would probably deem the business marital property. For this reason, the business owner would still be required to compensate his or her spouse for the spouse’s share of the business’s value.
New York is an equitable distribution state. This means that any marital property must be divided in a manner that is fair. This does not necessarily mean that both divorcing spouses will receive equal amounts of a given asset, however. A judge will consider a variety of factors, such as the individuals’ incomes and how long they were married, to determine the amounts that both sides should be awarded.
Legal help and support
Figuring out how to divide a business or other marital assets, like real estate and cars, can be complicated. Fortunately, an experienced New York family law attorney can help a divorcing individual to pursue his or her fair share of assets through an out-of-court process such as mediation. All the while, one’s attorney will be ready to fight in court via litigation if needed while keeping his or her client’s rights and best interests at the forefront of the legal proceeding.