At Myerson, we work for business owners, business managers, company directors or their spouses. As a team, we work closely together to ensure that our clients receive comprehensive legal advice on the impact of divorce on a business.
We also work closely with the best forensic accountants to:
- Identify the correct value of the business and the value of shares in that business;
- Identify ways in which finance can be raised to buy out a spouse’s potential claim;
- Negotiate a transfer of shares; and
- Identify any tax implications.
Whilst the court will take into consideration the value of a business, it is unlikely that a court would order a wholesale of a family business, if that business generates the family’s income.
How can I protect my business on divorce?
When you are going through a divorce as a business owner, your business comes under a lot of scrutiny. Protecting your business before a divorce requires careful legal and financial advice. Any sign of ill-willed actions, such as moving assets or shares to protect your business from financial claims on divorce can work against you throughout the court proceedings. As a result, the courts have specific powers and court orders to restrict this type of behaviour.
It is important that you are completely honest with your solicitors, so they fully understand the case and can provide accurate legal advice.
Where there are other shareholders involved, the courts will need to consider the impact of their decision on other parties involved.
Preparing for your case
If your case goes to court, you need to understand the full court process, including costs involved and questions which might be asked. You will need to be prepared to provide information, such as:
- Who has ownership of the business?
- When was the business set up and by who?
- Are there any shareholders in the business and how are the shares held
- What are your plans for the business?
The most important thing throughout the court process is to ensure that you remain honest and calm. As the business owner, you need to direct discussions and carefully consider what you would like to achieve with your business.
This might include constructing a plan for the assets and income of the business which can be shared with your spouse. This might include:
- How much of the business income are you willing to distribute to your spouse?
- Does your spouse have shared ownership of the business?
- Are you going to sell the business when you retire or pass the business onto your children? What part will your ex-spouse play in this?
Being prepared with detailed plans about the distribution of your business income and ownership provides a good starting point for your case.