Posted by Simon Bassett, Partner
If you divorce, will you be able to protect what you have worked hard to achieve?
“My wife and I have decided to part ways after a 20 year marriage. We’ve both contributed to our joint assets but I’m worried that my business, which I set up before our marriage, could be sold in the proceedings. What can I do?”
Firstly don’t panic! Much depends upon the nature of your business and whether or not it has any capital value that can easily be extracted. The family courts generally try and avoid a sale of a business unless it’s not possible to achieve a fair outcome without doing so.
Frequently it is the business that generates income for the family and the court will understand that any sale would inevitably deprive the family of that income.
However, you should be realistic. The business is one of those assets that the court will consider in the event of an application for a financial order and often specialist accountants are instructed to advise on its value.
It is important that your advisers understand the nature of your business and how its income is generated so that they can work closely with you and other experts to ensure that its value is preserved for the long-term and a sale avoided.
Be prepared and be honest
We also recommend clients, that are business owners, come to us prepared. Your solicitor will need to know a great deal of information about the business such as when and by whom it was set up, the income generated, its capital value and any future growth or succession plans. The more information you can put together beforehand, the less time and money you’ll spend while your solicitor obtains a detailed picture of your business.
You should also be honest with any business partners about your situation in advance, as they will inevitably be involved in financial discussions about your business interests.
Work with specialists
Make sure that you’re working with an experienced family lawyer who is used to working with clients who are business owners. Royds Withy King also has strong corporate and commercial teams that our family solicitors work closely with in complicated divorce situations.
Our Family Law team recommend, wherever possible, that our clients use mediation or a collaborative approach to settle their financial affairs together. This allows clients more control of any asset division – especially when businesses are involved and it is often a much more cost effective approach to separation than going through the courts.
Contact our team of specialist divorce lawyers below, for a free no obligation discussion about the options available to you.
0800 923 2074 Email us
Family law solicitors who combine expertise with understanding