Law Offices of Peter G. Aziz & Associates LLC
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Effects of divorce on small business owners

Divorce may carry unique considerations for New Jersey business owners. This is especially true for entrepreneurs with small, closely held firms. In many cases, this type of business is both the largest marital asset and the greatest source of income for both families. Of course, the financial effects of divorce can significantly outweigh other changes that come with the end of a marriage. However, business owners may have specific concerns about the future viability of the company and how the firm will be handled.

Certainly, the business is a major issue to be addressed in the property division stage of the divorce. In some cases, people may worry that they will be forced into a permanent business partnership with a former spouse. However, there are other ways to reach a resolution that can leave everyone with a fair outcome. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, so the division of marital property may not be precisely in half; instead, it depends on several factors. However, business owners should plan to see some of the company's value transferred in a settlement.

In many cases, this can be done without sharing a portion of company ownership with a former spouse. If other marital assets are large enough, the business owner can retain the firm while the other spouse walks away with a larger portion of real estate, investment accounts or other marital property. In other cases, people could negotiate a long-term buyout process in which the other spouse receives ongoing payments for the business as a form of spousal support.

Business owners may want to do what they can to protect the future viability of their company during the divorce process. A family law attorney might help a divorcing entrepreneur to negotiate a fair settlement on a range of matters, including property division and spousal support.

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