When a couple files for a dissolution of their marriage, they must report every asset, including a privately owned business, to the court. Once the judge assigns a monetary value to these assets, he or she will determine how much each spouse receives in the final divorce decree. There are multiple options for dividing up a business in a divorce in Ohio.
Buying out your ex
Once the judge has officially assessed the value of the business, he or she may present both parties with the option to buy out the other spouse. If you were the one who started the business and you handle the daily operations, you will probably be the partner most motivated to make the offer. Keeping the divorce as amicable as possible can help make the process of negotiating a buyout significantly easier.
Selling the business outright
Since the business is privately owned, you have the option to sell it outright. If your spouse receives 50% of the business in the settlement, he or she will have to agree to this option, but it is often the easiest one to consider. Once you sell the business, the two of you will split the proceeds evenly, much as you would have if the court had ordered you to sell your home.
Operating as co-owners
In the most amicable of divorces, some couples have managed to remain in business together as co-owners. While it is a good idea to have a management agreement in place that outlines each partner’s responsibilities, this option does allow for the business to continue to operate and generate income. Having a professional relationship with a former spouse is possible, but there should be safeguards in place.
The attorney who represents you in your divorce may be able to also act as your business attorney and help you in coming to an agreement with your former spouse regarding this asset. An attorney can create the contracts that will dictate how your business operates after the divorce is final or assist with selling half or all of your company.