One major concern for divorcing couples who own a business together is how their business will be divided during the divorce process. There are several different options divorcing couples owning a family business can consider to address their shared business and should be aware of as they work through the property division process.

One option for dividing a business is for one of the former spouses to keep the business following the divorce. Typically, the spouse who will be keeping the business will buy out the other spouse’s interests in the business based on the appraised value of the business. If the spouse buying out the other spouse’s interest does not have the ability to do so, it may be possible to structure a settlement so one former spouse can pay the other over time.

Alternately, both spouses may want to keep the business but the couple will then have to consider if they can work together and what the roles and responsibilities of the spouses will be in the business moving forward. A final option is for both spouses to sell the business and divide the proceeds. This may delay the divorce process while the spouses wait for the sale of the business but may be a preferable option to consider once the business is sold.

When a couple owns a business, or high-value assets, and decides to divorce, the property division process can be complex. To protect their interests, divorcing couples who own a family-run business should understand their options for dividing their business so they can determine what outcome works best for them.