Divorce for Business Owners and Executives
For business owners and executives, there may be a lot at stake in a divorce. Not only may the process of identifying assets and income be complicated, but also contentious disputes may arise. Thus, it is important to seek the guidance of a skilled Orange County divorce lawyer when you are going through this process. At the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz, we have over 20 years of experience in this area of the law, and we understand the distinctive challenges that you may be facing as a business owner or executive. We are committed to resolving your divorce in a discreet and dignified manner.Pursuing a Divorce as a Business Owner or Executive
High-asset divorces may be much more complicated than ordinary divorces. Business owners and executives will need to consider physical business assets in addition to business interests such as copyrights, trademarks, and patents. During this process, we can work with forensic accountants, appraisers, and tax experts to identify your assets. We can help business owners and executives with the following matters, among others:
- Business valuation (including intellectual property
- Valuation of any professional practices;
- Determinations of tax issues and consequences of a particular divorce settlement;
- Division of retirement funds; and
- Spousal maintenance.
Part of determining each spouse’s interest in a particular business depends on whether the business is considered community property or separate property. California is a community property state, which means that any assets or debts acquired over the course of the marriage must be divided 50/50 at the time of the divorce. By contrast, separate property includes property owned by one spouse before the marriage, obtained through gift or inheritance, or obtained after the spouses separated. Separate property does not need to be divided at the time of the divorce. Thus, if your business is characterized as community property, it will be subject to division at the time of the divorce, whereas if the business is considered separate property, it will belong solely to you and will not be subject to division.
If your business is deemed to be community property, this does not necessarily mean that you will need to divide it 50/50 or run the business jointly. It just means that you will need to come up with an agreement that gives your spouse 50 percent of the value of the business. For example, you may offer to buy out your spouse’s share of the business and continue running it on your own. If this is not possible, you may also offer your spouse a percentage of the revenue stream until a buyout is possible at a later time.
In some cases, spouses may have a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that addresses each spouse’s interest in a business. Often, however, these agreements leave questions unanswered, and the document may need to be examined by an attorney.Contact a Skilled Divorce Lawyer in Orange County
At the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz, our Orange County divorce attorneys are keenly aware of the legal needs of business owners and executives. While we aim to settle each case as efficiently as possible, we are also prepared to zealously advocate for your rights at trial. We represent people who need a family law attorney in Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Orange, Irvine, and Newport Beach, as well as other cities. For a consultation to discuss your options, call us at 949-735-9266 or contact us online.