Property division during a Minnesota divorce can be more complicated when one or both of the spouses own businesses . While many business owners think of their business assets as separate from their marital property, the value of a business is usually a factor in divorce settlements. During property division negotiations and court hearings, any business that a spouse owned during the course of their marriage is considered a marital asset.
If a person owned a business prior to marrying, the value of the business before the marriage may be considered the separate property of that spouse. When determining how to divide the marital assets, a judge may look at how much the business has grown in value during the marriage. The contributions that each spouse made to the company’s growth will also be important factors for a judge to consider.
Owners have a number of different options for dividing a business in a divorce. One spouse may take full ownership of the business and compensate the other spouse for their share, spouses may sell the business and divide the assets or spouses may continue running the business together. When a successful company provides a steady stream of income, judges are usually not inclined to order the sale of a business for property division purposes.
Spouses have a lot to lose during high asset property division determinations that involve jointly or separately owned businesses. A business owner who is going through a divorce may want to have the assistance of an attorney in negotiating a comprehensive settlement agreement that enables the company to continue operating.