For most people going through a divorce, the most challenging step is giving up any form of shared property such as vehicles, homes, and other valuables. If one or both spouses own business, according to attorney Justin Oliver, the process of property division can become potentially volatile and complicated. Therefore, business owners should be aware of how their assets may be protected and treated during divorce. They should also take the right precautions to protect these assets when possible.
Division of property
Whenever a couple decides to go through a divorce, all their assets are categorized as either marital or nonmarital assets. Marital assets refer to all properties acquired by either partner during the marriage period. On the other hand, non-marital assets are the property each of the spouse’s earned before marriage, inheritance, property received during marriage by gifts, assets excluded by a valid agreement, and more. Some exemptions such as inheritance or gift to a spouse might be considered a non-marital asset even if it was acquired during the marriage.
According to Colorado State law, courts have no jurisdiction to award non-marital property. However, consider this as an economic factor that courts might consider in dividing other assets or in awarding alimony, also known as spousal support. Marital assets can be shared equally or unequally, based on what the court deems to be ‘equitable’ division or fair. Some of the factors considered during property division during divorce include;
- Both monetary and non-monetary contributions that each of the partners made to the household during the marriage period.
- The overall value of the marital property.
- Each partner’s financial situation and his or her earning capacity after divorce.
- Each partner’s share of responsibility for kids care and custody after divorce.
Under Colorado State law, property division during divorce is a complicated affair, and you need the help of an experienced attorney. Ignoring the services of a family lawyer might mean that you will lose your assets or even child custody.
Division of business assets
Though some people might not think a solo practice or small business as property, the reality is that businesses are always treated just like any other property during the divorce process. Therefore, owning a business, no matter its size may drastically impact the outcome of property or asset settlement.
Just like other types of assets, a major issue for business owners going through a divorce is the valuation of the business. Under the Colorado State law, business valuation, particularly for the purpose of divorce, includes the current value of the business and the future value for the purpose of alimony or spousal support. The entire valuation process can be very complex, and thus, values may vary depending on who is doing the business valuation.
To ensure that your assets are protected during a divorce, it is important to work with an experienced divorce lawyer who can successfully handle divorce and property division issues. Indeed, the attorney can help you, a business owner, understand your legal options and take the right steps to keep your business assets protected in the event of a divorce.