Is my wife entitled to half my business if we divorce?
The division of assets in a Florida divorce, including a business, is subject to our equitable distribution laws. These laws do not automatically entitle a spouse to half of the other spouse’s business. Instead, the court considers various factors to ensure a fair distribution of marital assets and liabilities.
Date of Classification of Assets: The classification of assets as marital or non-marital is pivotal. For instance, if a business did not exist on the date the petition for dissolution was filed, it may not be considered a marital asset.
Marital vs. Non-Marital Assets: Assets and debts incurred after the date of filing for divorce are generally considered non-marital. However, there can be exceptions, for example, if an expense incurred independently by one party was for a marital purpose or for support during separation.
Equitable Distribution: Florida law starts with the premise that distribution of marital assets should be equal unless there’s a justification for an unequal distribution. This is determined based on relevant factors, which could include the contribution of each spouse to the marriage, the economic circumstances of each party, and the duration of the marriage, among others.
So, whether your spouse is entitled to half of your business in a Florida divorce would depend on factors such as whether the business is classified as a marital asset, the circumstances under which assets and liabilities were acquired, and an overall equitable assessment of the marital assets and liabilities.
You might wonder whether the court could force you to continue to work with your spouse in your family business. In Florida, judges usually don’t want divorced spouses to keep working together in a family-owned business. The court sees it as a bad idea, especially if it causes problems or if the couple doesn’t get along. When splitting up assets in a divorce, the court tries to avoid making ex-spouses run a business together. This is because it can create a really tough situation and it’s not fair to force them to work together if they don’t want to. The court will likely find a different way to handle the business without making you both stay as co-owners.
If you’re concerned about how your divorce might impact the ownership and management of your family business, it’s important to seek legal counsel. Contact Shemtov Hillstrom at (954) 329-2222 for a detailed consultation with our experienced trial attorneys. We can provide insight into Florida’s approach to handling family-owned businesses in divorce proceedings and guide you through the process of asset division. Our goal is to help you reach a fair and practical resolution, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected during this challenging time. Let us assist you in navigating these complex legal waters.