What Factors Will Determine Whether I Get a Share of My Spouse’s Business?
When a couple divorces, the marital assets all have to be split up equitably. Is your spouse’s business a marital asset though? Are you entitled to a share of it? These can be tricky questions to answer, but it is not uncommon for one spouse to receive a share of another spouse’s business after a divorce. Our Morris County, NJ division of assets attorneys can look at your unique situation and figure out if this is a possibility for you.
When is a Spouse’s Business Considered Marital Property?
If your spouse started a business before they got married, it would likely be considered separate property, meaning that you would not be entitled to a share of it. Sometimes a business started before marriage can end up being considered marital property though. Your lawyer may be able to point out that:
- Your spouse’s business grew significantly during the marriage
- Joint money was used by the business
- Personal and business assets have intermingled
- You supported your spouse through their education and training, helping to make their success possible
In other situations, it is more obvious that the business and its success are a product of both spouses’ efforts. A business can be considered marital property if:
- Both spouses have a hand in running the business
- Both bring value to the business through their skills, qualifications, or connections
- Both have invested money in the business
In cases like these, it should be obvious that you are owed a share of your spouse’s company in divorce.
What if I Did Not Work at My Spouse’s Business?
Some people believe that they have no right to a share in their spouse’s business because they were not an active participant in its day-to-day operations. They were not a partner. They did not have a job there. They did not bring in new contacts or potentially valuable customers.
This is not the only way to contribute to the growth of a business though. Some of our clients ask us “What if I stayed home?” If you were home, handling the majority of the housekeeping duties and childcare, that is actually a contribution to your spouse’s business. If it grew and expanded during your marriage, you can argue that your support was absolutely necessary and that you are part of the reason why your spouse’s company is worth more now. So do not automatically assume that you have no right to your fair share just because you were at home.
Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?
We recommend hiring a divorce lawyer. Equitably distributing assets can be difficult, especially when there is a company involved. You will be glad that you let an attorney look at the situation to determine whether or not you are being treated fairly.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
If you are ready to fight for a fair share of the marital assets, including a share of the family business, then we are ready to fight for you. Contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, L.L.C. and schedule a consultation today. We can tell you more about how an experienced family law attorney can help you.