Law Office Of William B. Bennett, Tampa Bay, Florida, Divorce Affects Your Business

Navigating How Divorce Affects Your Business According To Florida Laws: Marital Property And More

For small business owners in Florida, divorce can pose unique challenges when untangling business and personal assets. As an entrepreneur, your business is likely one of your most valuable assets and a source of income. So, protecting it during a divorce is critical. Understanding how divorce affects your business assets according to Florida law can help you take proactive steps to help safeguard your company’s future. With open communication and strategic planning, business owners can navigate divorce while minimizing disruptions to their company. Though divorce is difficult, focusing on the legal and financial implications of dividing assets can help entrepreneurs in Florida emerge from the process with their business intact.

Determining if Your Business Is Marital Property Under Florida Law

In Florida, all assets and property acquired during a marriage are typically considered marital property subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. This includes businesses started or purchased while married. If you launched or bought your company when married, there is a strong chance it will be deemed marital property. However, some circumstances, such as a prenuptial agreement explicitly excluding the business as marital property, may prevent this classification.

If classified as marital property, the business needs to be valued to determine each spouse’s share. The valuation considers assets, liabilities, cash flow and the current market value of the company. If the business is an LLC or corporation with multiple owners, the operating agreement should specify how a divorce affects your business ownership interests. The owner’s salary and distributions are also considered in determining potential alimony or child support.

Business owners navigating a divorce face complicated choices regarding their company. The Law Office of William B. Bennett helps clients understand their options. We work hard to help achieve a fair and equitable outcome, protecting both personal and business interests.

Valuing and Dividing a Business in a Florida Divorce

A business owned during a marriage is typically considered marital property in Florida, meaning it must be valued and divided equitably between spouses in a divorce.

Once it’s determined that a partner’s business is marital property, the next step is valuing the company. This involves assessing assets like property, equipment and inventory. Liabilities like loans and debts are also considered. The business’s fair market value and the owner-spouse’s salary are documented as well. These factors help determine the overall worth of the business and each spouse’s share.

There are three common ways a business can be divided in a Florida divorce:

  • Buyout: One spouse buys the other’s share of the business. This allows one owner to retain full control but requires having sufficient funds to purchase the other spouse’s portion of the business’s worth.
  • Co-Ownership: Both spouses continue jointly owning and operating the business. This is rarely ideal given the circumstances and should only be considered as a last resort.
  • Sale: The spouses sell the business and split the proceeds. This severs ties with the business but provides funds to divide. Selling to existing partners is an option if other owners wish to maintain operations.

For business owners going through divorce, protecting their company’s interests is a top priority. Consulting an experienced family law attorney who understands the complexities of dividing businesses and other assets in a divorce is critical. They can help advise on the best approach based on the specifics of the business and the couple’s situation. With the right legal counsel, business owners can emerge from divorce with their company intact and secure.

Strategizing With a Seasoned Florida Divorce Attorney To Help Reduce How Divorce Affects Your Business

When going through a divorce as a business owner in Florida, working with an experienced divorce attorney is crucial. They can help determine how your business assets may be classified in the divorce and develop a tailored strategy to protect your interests.

Since Florida is an equitable distribution state, all marital property, including businesses, are subject to division in a divorce. Unless there is a prenuptial agreement stating otherwise, if you started or acquired your business during the marriage, your spouse is entitled to a share of its value. To determine their share, the business will need to be properly valued by assessing its assets, liabilities, cash flow, and market value.

An experienced divorce attorney can review the specifics of your situation and determine a business division option that aligns with your priorities. They can then negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s counsel that considers both of your needs and interests. For business owners, it is critical to work with a lawyer who understands the complexities of dividing business assets in a divorce and can craft an agreement that protects your ability to continue operating successfully post-divorce.

With the right legal counsel and strategy, business owners can navigate a divorce without jeopardizing their company. An attorney who specializes in high-asset and complex divorces can make the process as seamless as possible.

Call The Law Office Of William B. Bennett Today To Help Protect Your Business

Going through a divorce as a business owner in Florida presents many challenges but also opportunities to safeguard what you have built. By working with The Law Office Of William B. Bennett, you can help establish the necessary protections during this personally difficult time. Putting these safeguards in place will give you peace of mind that your business will continue as usual. Call the Law Office of William B. Bennett today at (727) 821-8000 or contact us on our website here. We can help you navigate the complex divorce process confidently knowing your most valuable assets, including your company, will remain secure.

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Posted in: Divorce, Family Law