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Business owners face difficult decisions in divorce

If you own a business in or around Denver, you face some additional concerns when divorce comes knocking. A poorly planned divorce can easily destroy a business, which may impact many more lives than those of the owner and their spouse, so you must begin thinking carefully about the property you want to keep and the assets you are willing to let go.

Divorcing spouses must divide up their marital property, which may be a wide range of assets and liabilities, including a business. Although businesses are much more complex than most other assets, the law views them as essentially the same as a portfolio of investments when it comes time to divide property for a divorce settlement. Many owners overlook this as they head into divorce and their businesses never recover.

If you own a business, divorce is a very real threat. As you plan for your divorce, you must create a strategy to keep your business intact while dissolving your marriage.

Valuing a business

If you own a car and it qualifies as marital property, determining the car's value is fairly simple. You and your spouse can both use reference guides such as Kelley Blue Book to estimate the car's worth and negotiate who keeps the vehicle in a divorce settlement.

Unfortunately, assessing a business's value is not so simple. Unlike most other assets, a business may have many moving parts, financially speaking. Does the business create income? Does the business hold debt? Does the business have physical assets or employees? How much of the business's value does one owner hold? These are only some of the questions that determine the value of a business, but there are many others.

If you believe that your divorce may involve your business, then you must understand the exact value of the business so that you can negotiate a fair settlement, especially to avoid overpaying. A professional valuation creates common ground for both an owner and their spouse to use during negotiation, and ensures that neither party falsely inflates or deflates the value for their own gain.

Building a strategy to protect your future

As you approach divorce, you must consider the life you want to lead once all the papers are signed and the dissolution is final. You may find that protecting your business is a key part of rebuilding on the other side, which may mean sacrificing other assets and privileges in your settlement. With a clear understanding of your own priorities, you can build a strong plan to weather the current storm and emerge on the other side with the tools you need to make a fresh start, personally and financially.

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