Divorce for Business Owners
Divorce for Business Owners



Divorce for Business Owners

Share This Post:
facebook twitter Linkedin

Business ownership can be rewarding and lucrative, though if you are ending your marriage, it can make the divorce process significantly more complicated. Not only will you need to address the equitable division of complex business assets, but your livelihood might be on the line. 

The Ohio divorce attorneys at Fout Law Office, LLC have extensive experience in both business and family law, and here we’d like to share some insights into the unique challenges of divorce for business owners. We understand that with so much at stake, you want reliable answers, and legal representation from a lawyer who regularly works with business owners.

A Business as Marital Property

Ohio law requires divorcing spouses to equitably divide all marital property, and each spouse retains their own separate property. It is important to have the right attorney evaluating whether your business interests are marital property that will need to be divided. Some possible scenarios include:

  • If two spouses started a company together, their ownership interests would be considered marital property.
  • If one spouse started the business during the marriage, it is still marital property even if the other spouse has no ownership interest in their name. 
  • If one spouse opened a business prior to the marriage, any income earned or appreciation that happened during the marriage would be marital property.

You might assume that if you own a business without your spouse, you will be able to simply retain the business following a divorce and maintain the status quo. This is not automatically true, however, and some – if not all – of your business interests can be at issue when it comes to property division. 

Dividing Your Business

If some or all of your business is marital property, you need to determine how much the business is worth. There are different methods of business valuation, and your attorney can hire a business valuation expert to use an agreed-upon valuation method. 

Once you know what the marital property portion of your business is worth, you must decide how your business will fit in with the equitable distribution of property. There are many factors considered when determining how to equitably divide all your property and assets, and you want a lawyer who can assist you in keeping your business whenever possible.  

If you own the business without your spouse, you might negotiate for your spouse to get other property – such as a home – in exchange for you keeping the company interests. If you own the business with your spouse, there are different options, including:

  • Sell the business and divide the proceeds
  • One spouse buys out the other’s interests (with liquid capital or a greater portion of marital property)
  • You continue owning the business and working together if you have an amicable relationship

There also might be other issues to address, such as any buy-sell agreement or owner’s contracts. 

If You Own a Business, Speak with Our Ohio Divorce Lawyers Today

At Fout Law Office, LLP, we handle a wide range of business law matters in addition to complex divorce cases, making our lawyers adept at handling divorce for business owners. If you need assistance with a divorce involving complex business assets, contact us to set up an appointment today.

Trust an Ohio Lawyer With Your Family Law Matters




Many factors can influence whether a parent wants to create an inheritance for their minor children. Oftentimes, parents want to plan ahead and ensure that their children have a successful…




Few of us want to contemplate what will happen when we are no longer there to provide for those we care about. Having a will and estate plan in place…


What OurClients Say!

Fill out this form, and we’ll set up a consultation!

Do You Need Help?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.