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Is your business just another asset in the divorce process?

You and your spouse may have spent years building the family business. To say that you are proud of your success is an understatement.

Now that you are facing divorce, what will happen to the business? This is not just another asset, this is your baby, so here are three options for consideration.

1. Perform a buyout

One of you may buy the other out; that is, acquire the interest that currently belongs to your spouse-partner. To arrive at a suitable price, you will have to hire an appraiser to place a value on the business. You will also have to come up with the funds for the buyout. If that is not possible, however, you could consider using assets for an even exchange of value.

2. Put the business up for sale

While you and your spouse created a successful business, there is nothing to stop either of you from repeating that success with a new venture. After all, you have figured out what works. Consider putting your business on the market. Again, you will need an appraiser to perform a valuation to determine the appropriate selling price. You could even know someone interested in buying the business. Once you sell, you and your spouse can split the profits and go on to the next new venture. The downside is that if the company does not sell right away, the two of you must continue to work together for longer than anticipated.

3. Continue as partners

Perhaps neither of you wants to part with the business. If the two of you believe that you can continue working together after the divorce is final, continuing as partners may be the best solution. This works for some couples, especially those who are ending their marriage in an amicable manner.

Your business is not just another asset; it is probably your main asset in terms of property division. Making a determination as to its fate is a matter that may include help from an appraiser, a CPA and perhaps a financial advisor. Begin with sound legal guidance and you will ultimately make the right decision.

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