Call 24/7 - Orlando






How a Divorce May Affect Your Business? Strategies for Protection!

When going through a divorce, if you own a business, you might feel like you’re steering through a storm. Florida’s laws add some interesting twists and turns to the process. So, how exactly does a divorce affect your business in the Sunshine State? Read below to know!

It’s Complicated: Understanding Florida’s Equitable Distribution Law

First things first, Florida operates under what’s called an “equitable distribution” law when it comes to divorce as per the Florida Statutes Section 61.075. This doesn’t mean everything is split 50/50. Instead, the court aims to divide assets (and liabilities) fairly and equitably. Now, where does your business fit into this equation? Well, that depends on a few key factors.

The Business Valuation 

Determining the value of your business is the first step. Whether you started your business before or after tying the knot matters significantly. If the business was started after the marriage, it’s generally considered a marital asset, which means it’s subject to division. 

However, if it was your brainchild before you said “I do,” things get a bit complicated. The increase in value during the marriage and your spouse’s involvement (or lack thereof) in the business can influence how it’s divided. Valuing a business for divorce purposes is a tricky process, governed in part by the standards set forth by the American Society of Appraisers. 

The business’s worth is determined not just by its current assets and revenue but by its future earning potential, which requires a deep dive into financial records, market conditions, and more. This valuation can become a battleground, especially for businesses that started as a labor of love and grew into substantial assets.

Protecting Your Business: Prenups, Postnups, and Trusts

If you’re reading this amidst wedding planning, consider a prenuptial agreement. It’s like a lifejacket for your business in the case of a divorce. Already married without a prenup? A postnuptial agreement can still offer protection. These agreements can outline what happens to your business upon divorce, helping to keep it intact and operational. Another savvy move is placing your business in a trust, shielding it from the marital asset battlefield.

Creative Solutions: Settlements and Buyouts

When both parties are entrenched in the business, a straightforward division might not be feasible or desirable. This is where creativity comes into play. Structured settlements, phased buyouts, or even continuing as business partners post-divorce are options. Each comes with challenges and requires clear, legally binding agreements to navigate the new dynamics.

The Impact on Day-to-Day Operations

Throughout the divorce process, keeping your business running smoothly can be hard. Transparent communication with your team, maintaining focus on your business goals, and possibly delegating more responsibilities can help mitigate disruptions.

The Emotional Rollercoaster and the Business 

Divorces are emotionally burdensome, and when your business is on the line, stress levels can skyrocket. It’s important to manage this turmoil effectively. Not only for your well-being but for the soundness of your business. Staying focused, seeking support, and compartmentalizing personal issues from business decisions are key strategies.

Seeking Professional Help: The Role of Experts

Don’t go at it alone. Getting the help of a divorce attorney with experience in handling businesses is essential. They can guide you through the legal issues and advocate for your best interests. Additionally, financial advisors and valuation experts play crucial roles in accurately assessing the value of your business and proposing fair settlement options.

Key Takeaway

Divorcing in Florida with a business in the mix adds layers of complexity to an already challenging process. Understanding the laws, protecting your assets, and managing the your emotions throughout the process, are critical steps. With the right strategy and support, you can weather the storm and steer your business toward calmer waters.

Going through a divorce in Florida with a business in the mix? Remember, it’s not just about splitting assets; it’s about safeguarding your future and that of your business. Equip yourself with knowledge, plan strategically, and seek professional guidance. Your business doesn’t have to be a casualty of your divorce.

Ready to protect your business amidst divorce? Call the Dewitt Law Firm now!