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Options for how to divide a family business in a divorce

Massachusetts couples who own a family business together but are ending their marital or personal relationship have many important options to consider when it comes to what they want to do with the business moving forward. This decision can have a huge financial impact on all parties involved.

What option works best in a given situation really depends a lot on an individual’s circumstances and goals. As such, the details should be discussed with a family law attorney. However, there are a few suggestions a person who is trying to decide what to do with a family business may wish to consider.

For those who feel they can cooperate with the former spouse in running a business, it may be best simply to agree to continue with the status quo. Particularly if the business is profitable for both parties, this can save a lot of time and expense both immediately in the long term.

Otherwise, one person will likely want to negotiate to buy out his or her former spouse, This will almost inevitably require that the couple agree to how much the business is worth. However, there will also be other important considerations. For instance, the parties may have to decide the details of how to structure the buyout and what each person’s role will be in the business after the divorce and sale.

In some cases, it may be best for the couple to sell their respective interests in the business and split up the proceeds of the sale proportionally. As an example, this may be a viable option in a situation where the couple is reaching retirement age or is otherwise ready to close up shop regardless of their marital difficulties.