Business Owners and Divorce
Business Owners and Divorce
If you are like most business owners, you spent a significant amount of time researching, planning, and preparing for the launch of your business. And, like many small business owners, you probably work countless hours managing, developing, nurturing, and growing your venture. When divorce strikes a couple with shared business interests, it can impact the financial strength of the business, business partners, employees, customers, and other assets owned by the couple. Wisconsin divorce laws are complicated and it is important to understand Wisconsin property division and other matters pertaining to divorce. At the Milwaukee family law firm Bandle & Zaeske, LLP, our experienced divorce attorneys effectively counsel business owners through the divorce process, protecting their business interests and securing the most favorable financial future.
Wisconsin community property laws
Wisconsin is one of nine states in the country that follows community property laws. Under community property laws, all income earned during a marriage, and all possessions acquired during a marriage, is considered marital property shared equally with your spouse. Most debts incurred during the course of a marriage – by either spouse – is considered joint debt. When a couple divorces in Wisconsin, the marital property is divided equally between the spouses and both spouses are jointly responsible for any outstanding debt.
Valuing a business
Obtaining a fair and accurate valuation of your business is an essential part of your divorce proceedings. In some situations, one spouse may try to undervalue the business. Or one spouse will accept the other spouse’s estimate on the business’ worth without investigating. Both of those scenarios may cost you dearly in the long-term. It is wise to engage a qualified, knowledgeable appraiser who will consider many different factors in preparing a valuation, including but not limited to the following:
- Business tax returns
- Employee payroll records
- Loans and other debt
- Outstanding loan applications
- Company property
- Patents and outstanding patent filings
- Future revenue
Appraisers conduct detailed analyses of the business and document the steps taken to determine the valuation. In divorce, both spouses may choose to engage a joint appraiser to help reduce the appraisal costs of appraisal for both spouses.
Our experienced Milwaukee divorce attorneys guide business owners skillfully through the divorce process
Divorce is complicated. Business owners who decide to divorce face additional challenges relating to the valuation of the business and the division of property after divorce. Skilled divorce lawyers at the Milwaukee family law firm Bandle & Zaeske, LLP work with business owners to skillfully evaluate the financial implications of divorce, protect business assets, and strategically address related issues to secure your financial future post-divorce. Schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team to discuss your business and divorce situation. Contact our office at 414-359-1424 or contact us online.