Long Island Divorce Attorneys Work to Protect Your Business
Hauppauge and Garden City firm helps proprietors maintain their ownership stake
If you are concerned about protecting a business from divorce, the New York firm of Tabat, Cohen, Blum, Yovino & Diesa, PC can help. Located in Garden City and Hauppauge, our firm has decades of experience handling property division matters for Long Island business owners going through New York’s marriage dissolution process.
What happens to a business in a New York divorce?
Whether you started a business on your own, purchased an existing company or gained ownership through inheritance, the company you run could be included within your divisible marital property. New York is an equitable distribution state where the judge looks at the totality of circumstances to determine a fair allocation of marital assets and debts. Even if a business was started before you were wed, using marital funds or having your spouse work for the company could lead to all or part of your business asset being included within the marital estate. By working with an accomplished Long Island high net worth divorce lawyer, you can learn what factors might be important in the judge’s decision and press for a fair outcome.
Divorce with partners in a Long Island business
Partners in a business are linked closely and may share joint and several liability for company debts. A divorce can threaten the stability of a partnership, so it’s important to act quickly if you are a member whose marriage is coming to an end. You might wish to arrange a buyout of your interest or consider dissolving the partnership until your marital situation is resolved. We examine each client’s specific circumstances and work to identify a solution that puts divorcing spouses and their business in the best possible position.
How is a business valued in divorce?
At any time, two people can have sharp differences over the valuation of a business. Assessing goodwill and other assets can lead to significant conflicts, even among highly qualified experts. Our firm consults with professionals to conduct an accurate appraisal of inventory, real estate, debt obligations, profit margin and growth potential in order to gain a detailed perspective on business assets. Obtaining accurate information might affect alimony and child support determinations along with property division, so it is essential to argue for a fair valuation.
Taking steps to protect your business before divorce
One way to safeguard your business stake is to negotiate a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that clearly states that you have sole ownership rights in the event of a divorce. During a marriage, you should take great care to keep your business and personal finances separate. If marital assets are used to prop up the company, your spouse can claim that it is part of the marital estate. Likewise, any work that your husband or wife does for the business gives them the ability to assert that ownership is shared.
You might wish to consider a New York marital settlement agreement
If a substantial business asset will be part of your divorce, it might provide extra motivation to reach a marital settlement agreement. Putting the disposition of your business into a judge’s hands could lead to a result where you and your ex own the company jointly after your marriage is dissolved. Alternatively, you could be compelled to sell the business and split the proceeds. When maintaining ownership and control is important, you might wish to negotiate a deal by which you keep the business in exchange for giving your spouse other assets from the marital estate.
Contact a Long Island divorce lawyer to discuss protecting your business assets
Tabat, Cohen, Blum, Yovino & Diesa, PC advises clients throughout Long Island on the divorce process and how business assets are treated under New York law. For an initial consultation, please call 631-587-5100 or contact us online. We are located in Garden City and Hauppauge.