Getting a divorce is extremely complicated. Not only is it an emotional upheaval, but it’s also logistically and financially challenging, too. For business owners, going through a divorce could mean the risk of losing property—including the business. If you’re a business owner facing divorce, working with an attorney is an important part of understanding your rights and how you can protect your Massachusetts business. Call the Law Office of Heather M. Ward today to learn more.
Understanding Marital Property in Massachusetts
The law in Massachusetts holds that the division of marital property must be equitable. Marital property refers to all property that is acquired during the course of the marriage, regardless of which partner acquired it. Separate property is property that was acquired by either spouse prior to the marriage, or that was acquired by the spouse by gift or inheritance.
Note that equitable division does not necessarily mean equal division—partners are not forced to split assets 50/50. Equitable divisions means division of assets in a way that is fair and just.
How Family Courts Divide a Business in a Divorce
If the business is considered marital property, then it will be subject to equitable division. Before the court intervenes, though, the divorcing couple will have the option to reach a settlement on their own. This is highly encouraged; when couples work together, the outcome tends to be more beneficial to them both, avoids litigation, and is less expensive.
In the event that the couple cannot reach an agreement, the court will be responsible for dividing the property in a manner that is equitable. Options that the court may consider include:
- Dividing the business 50/50
- Awarding the business in full to one party in exchange for another asset
- Selling the business and dividing the assets
- Having one party buy out the other party’s half of the business
Ways to Protect Your Business in a Divorce
Fortunately, there are ways to protect your business when you’re getting a divorce, starting with working with an attorney. An attorney understands the law and how to help you navigate it in a way that protects your best interests. Your attorney will be able to provide you with a full understanding of all of your legal options. It will also be important that all of your spouse’s financial assets are fully disclosed in order to ensure equitable distribution.
Call the Law Office of Heather M. Ward Today
At the Law Office of Heather M. Ward, our experienced Massachusetts divorce attorney has represented business owners like you. If you need help protecting your business in a divorce or otherwise securing the best case outcome possible during your separation, call Attorney Heather M. Ward today at (617) 903-8955. You can also tell us more about your case by filling out our contact form online.