Dividing Your Business Interests During Divorce
Divorces involving California business owners present a range of complications and extra costs. To minimize those complications and costs and to make sure you protect your financial interests, it is critical to work with a lawyer who not only cares about the outcome of your case, but also has the experience and knowledge to handle the complex legal issues involved.
At John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law, I have been handling divorce-related matters, including division of business assets and other property division matters, for more than 30 years. I represent clients in Pleasanton and throughout Alameda County, California.
When you work with my law firm, you get the benefit of my decades of experience and my commitment to handling your legal matter personally. I will help you through every stage of the legal process to make sure your interests are protected.
Dividing business ownership interests in a divorce can raise significant complications, including:
- Characterizing the assets: The first question to answer is whether the business existed before the marriage, which would generally result in the business assets being considered separate property. If one or both spouses were actively involved in the business operation, however, it could complicate matters significantly and create a community property interest in the business.
- Business valuation: There are many complications to this aspect of the process as well. It is necessary to take into account the income generated by the business, the “goodwill” of the business, the physical property owned by the business, debts held by the business, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts, whether the cash flow passed through either spouse’s personal accounts, and other related financial matters.
- Division of business ownership: In cases where the business is relatively successful, it can be difficult to determine the best way to divide it without liquidating.
I work with accountants and other financial experts when necessary to make strategic determinations regarding the valuating and dividing of business assets and debts.
Your Amicable Resolution Options
I also handle asset division cases through various alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, including mediation, collaborative law and other alternatives. This helps to provide a more amicable, efficient approach for my clients whenever possible. And when ADR is not possible, I can take your case to trial.