If you own a business, it is likely one of your most valued properties, if not the property that is the most important to you. A business represents the investment of time, money, and effort, and it is often crucial to your ability to support yourself. As such, the thought of something happening to your business in a divorce can be extremely concerning. However, if you thoroughly prepare for the divorce process, you can effectively address many of the issues that often affect business owners.
How Does a Business Affect the Divorce Process?
Illinois business owners should be well informed about all of the following issues that may arise during their divorce:
- Marital and non-marital property – Illinois law defines what qualifies as marital property, which belongs to the couple and must be divided in a divorce, and non-marital property, which belongs to each spouse individually. Business owners should determine whether their business qualifies as a non-marital asset, perhaps because they owned it before the marriage or inherited it from a family member, or because they have a prenuptial agreement that excludes the business from the marital estate.
- Business valuation and division – When a business qualifies as a marital asset, it is important to determine an accurate valuation before deciding how to address it in the division of marital property. A business can be valued based on its assets, income, or market value. Options for dividing a business in divorce include selling it and dividing the proceeds, distributing ownership shares, or having one spouse buy out the other.
- Spousal maintenance – Business owners who want to retain full ownership of their business will often need to compensate their spouse in other ways. One common option is spousal maintenance, otherwise known as alimony or spousal support, through which one spouse makes regular payments to the other for a defined time period.
- Child support – Business owners with young children will be required to contribute to child support after a divorce. Since Illinois child support obligations are calculated based on each parent’s income, business owners often face additional challenges when it comes to demonstrating the monthly income that their business brings in.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
If you need help protecting your business assets during your divorce, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can provide it. We have extensive experience representing clients throughout all aspects of the divorce process, and we will work to ensure a fair resolution in your case. Contact a Lombard, IL family law attorney today for a free consultation by calling 630-932-9100.