Division of Family Propety
Dividing family business assets can often become quite complex, especially when many family members are involved or one family member has a primary role in the business. Our Lawyers have years of experience helping family business owners get through the difficulties of divorce and separation. Whether you want to protect your family's wealth or get your fair share we at, Levine and Company can Help.
Business Assets Vs Family Assets
Protecting business assets during divorce is to some degree already taken care of by the Family Law Act which excludes business assets from the marital estate. However, business assets can also be protected from marital property division through premarital agreements. Even so these laws can become flexible when there isn't a clear division between the business and family assets. For example when personal and business assets start to overlap and become mixed during a marriage. Likewise marital property division can reach into the business assets presenting a potential claim for a non owning spouse if they can demonstrate a direct or indirect contribution to the business. For example if a non owning spouse took care of the children or did other home making activities during the marriage it could be argued that such activities allowed the business owner to spend more time concentrating on running the business. As a result the non owning spouse may be granted a share of the business' profitability.
So how can you protect your business assets against potential claims like those illustrated in above. The main thing you can do is avoid mixing business and personal assets and document clear records that reflect a clear distinction between the two. This means keeping personal and business accounts separate as well as keeping their spending and income separate as well. In other words don't use business accounts for personal expenses. During or at the start of a divorce you can take other actions to protect your business assets by freezing checking or savings accounts and any other easily liquidated assets. Limit lines of credit for credit cards that are jointly owned to prevent potential rack up of debt.
If you own a business and you think it might be at risk during your divorce please contact us. We have handled many cases involving businesses in the past and we understand that it is a delicate matter that can have negative affects for you and your company if not handled properly.