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What happens to the business?

You have your own business, but you've decided to divorce. Now what should you do? The very first thing that must be decided is whether the business qualifies as martial or separate property. However, just because you are listed as the only owner or your spouse has no dealing with the business does not automatically mean that it's separate property.

If the business was opened — or even experienced significant growth — during the time of the marriage, your spouse may be entitled to a portion. If you're unsure whether your business is marital property, it's important to talk with a family law attorney before making any decisions.

If the business will indeed be part of the divorce settlement, it may be best to get at least that aspect of the divorce decided as quickly as possible. Being in limbo can be very difficult for a business. You may also find that you don't have as much time to devote while you're handling the different aspects of the business. Deciding what will be done with the business right away can decrease the risk of having to close it later on.

Mediation can be one tactic to make decisions regarding the business. Even if you think you're going to need to go trial about other aspect of the divorce, you can still use mediation for this part. And, remember, as valuable as the business may be, it is just one part of your divorce. It's a good idea to talk with a family law attorney throughout the process to ensure you aren't missing anything.

Source: Entrepreneur, "How to Keep Your Business Together When Your Marriage Is Coming Apart," Andrea Murad, accessed July 01, 2016

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