Sep 9, 2021

Divorce For Business Owners in Maryland

Sep 9, 2021 - Family Law by |

High Assets & Complex Spousal Support Situations

Asset Protection for Maryland Business Owners

If you are facing a divorce, you are likely concerned about the impact it will have on your financially.  If you are a business owner, you have to think about how the divorce and subsequent asset division will affect you both personally and in your business.  In most cases, Maryland would consider a business owned by one spouse a marital asset, and it’s therefore subject to equitable distribution.

Keeping Your Business Safe and Stable Through a Divorcebusiness owners facing divorce

The very best way to keep a business safe through a marriage is to have a prenuptial agreement.  Without a prenuptial agreement, it can be difficult to get a business qualified as individual property.  If the business was started before the marriage, and no marital assets were used to support or maintain the business, that can help your case.

Buying Out Your Spouse

When your situation will not allow for you to maintain full ownership of your business through a divorce, you may want to consider “buying out” your spouse.  There are a number of ways to do this:

  • Outright pay your spouse’s portion (financing the amount if needed) of the business in cash.  This amount would be negotiated by your attorney, your spouse’s attorney and would need to be approved by the court.

  • Give up some other concession (the family home, a retirement account, etc) in exchange for maintaining full control and ownership of your business (again, this would require both attorneys working towards court approval for whatever agreement you reached)

  • Negotiating a schedule where you can buy them out over time or use the business to continue to support them financially.

Why Does My Spouse Get Part of MY Business?

Anyone who has started and maintained a business understands the difficulties of running a business.  The idea of losing what you have built can be terrifying, which is why Brandon works hard to protect the continuity of your business and the income it provides you.  However, simply being the person who “put in all the work” does NOT entitle you to full ownership of the business after the divorce.  In cases where one spouse stayed home with children to allow the other to run the business, it will likely be seen as a marital asset.  The Maryland family law courts use the same logic for general income; they will always consider when one spouse is home taking care of kids instead of making an income.

Business Protection Planning Through Divorce

Every situation is unique, which is why Brandon offers a free initial consultation to business owners (or their spouses) who are considering divorce and are concerned about their financial situation.  The earlier you can start planning for the protection of your business and the related income through your divorce process the better off you will be.  Call today to get started.