Lawyers along the South Florida Coastline rely on the state’s “Equitable Distribution” laws to help unravel complicated property issues in divorce. These laws become increasingly important when a divorcing couple owns a business together. Learning about state Marital Property laws can lay a foundation for navigating its intricacies.
Marital Property Law basically says that properties acquired during a marriage are subject to equitable divisions in a divorce. The courts determine what is fair and just but the burden of proof remains with each spouse and his or her lawyer.
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The first question to answer is when did the business begin? If it began before the marriage, originating with one spouse, then in most cases, the portion of assets before the marriage belongs to the originating owner. The time the business was run after marriage, however, can be considered “Marital Property” and therefore up for division. Be aware that there is no guarantee of a 50/50 split, only that the courts given the information available and the limited time to work with, do what is equitable, fair and just.
The court takes into consideration what each spouse brings to the marriage, to the business and to the family as well as any other ways of generating income or taking care of children.
In the end, most businesses are divided and one spouse buys out the other. It takes a very unique situation for divorcing business owners to continue in partnership.
Whatever the situations, business owners who find themselves preparing for divorce should educate themselves on state laws and find a Board Certified Martial and Family Attorney to assist with the complexities and help give peace of mind during the process.