EP 51: 5 Critical Considerations Regarding Your Business In Divorce

In this episode we discuss important information about your business during divorce.

If you are going through a divorce and have a small or large business, you must be wondering what to do with it and how it will be split. You need to know the following things about your business when you are involved in a divorce.

  • What type of business entity is it?
  • When was the company started?
  • Has the company changed its legal status?
  • Who manages the business?
  • What is the business worth?

The most important consideration is the legal classification of your business. Is it an LLC, a corporation, a sole proprietorship, an LLP, a partnership, or some other type of legal structure?

When was the company started? This information is crucial to determining whether the business is separate or marital property. If it was started after the marriage, that makes it marital property and subject to division during the divorce settlement.

Has the company changed its legal status? Although uncommon, companies do change their legal status for a variety of reasons, and if this occurred during the marriage, the business can suddenly become marital property. This determination can be found during initial fact finding, and your attorney will help you with this search. Tax returns will also provide this information.

Who manages the business on a day-to-day basis? If both of you work on the business, it can have a different effect on the settlement as compared with one spouse managing it. It is important to understand who works in the business, how, and to what extent.

What is the business worth? You will need a CPA or a certified business evaluator or a certified business appraiser to help you determine the value of the business. It can have very important implications for your divorce settlement. If it is a large business, you need to hire an expert and get an accurate estimate of what your business is worth. Having an accurate idea of its worth can greatly affect what you receive during the settlement.

Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Podcast. We hope the show helps you through one of the most difficult periods of your life. Shawn Leamon is also author of Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide. One-on-one divorce coaching services are available at www.divorceandyourmoney.com.

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Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.