Is divorce litigation inevitable when spouses own a business?

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2023 | Asset Division

Many people would like to pursue a low-conflict divorce, but not every family has that option. There are certain factors that almost inevitably complicate divorce proceedings in New Jersey. Business ownership can be one such factor.

If either spouse owns a business or if a married couple runs a company together, there will almost always be conflicts related to the organization during the divorce process. Couples tend to disagree on many issues related to a business that is partially or totally classified as an element of the marital estate. Disputes about the value of the business and how much of it is part of the marital estate are common. Spouses also frequently disagree on what would be a reasonable way to handle the business’s valuation.

Some people expect that litigation is inevitable when they hold complex assets, but that is not always the case. It is possible for people to move forward with an uncontested divorce in New Jersey even when they own complex, high-value assets.

How do people handle their businesses?

There are numerous ways to address a business in a divorce. Sometimes, people decide to sell the company and split the proceeds with one another. Other times, they may agree to use other assets to even out property division when considering the business’s overall value. Reaching an agreement can take a lot of effort and compromise. They may even need to consider going to mediation to resolve their disagreements.

Protecting a business is a common goal during divorce, and people can achieve this goal by cooperating with their spouse if doing so is possible. It can take a bit of work to reasonable valuation that both spouses agree is appropriate. It can also require some negotiation to find other assets that represent an equivalent value.

In some scenarios, spouses are eventually able to resolve their disagreements about property division when there are particularly high-value assets included in the marital estate. Doing so may require making certain concessions so that both spouses are happy with the outcome.

It is possible for spouses to eventually agree about how to share the value of a business without having a judge make the final determination on the matter via divorce litigation. Searching for an amicable solution with the assistance of a skilled lawyer is often the best approach for those with complex resources they hope to preserve in a New Jersey divorce.