If you’ve ever been divorced, you know it’s not easy. There are often many obstacles involved, and even when you plan to divorce amicably, that does not always happen. This is especially true when it comes to a business divorce.
Business divorces are highly complex situations because it’s not tangible items you can simply split. Plus, there are valuations involved, so the business needs to be properly valued so it’s a fair split. That’s why you need the right lawyer on your side to help you make the right decisions.
Your average divorce lawyer does not have the right experience or background to effectively navigate disputes regarding businesses. Very few have practiced in business or commercial litigation. No matter what type of business you own, you need someone who understands all the nuances involved. Here’s what your attorney needs to know.
How to Preserve the Function and Value of the Business
When marital property includes a business, your lawyer has a lot of work to do. Their ultimate goal is to find a creative solution to a property division that preserves the value of the business and benefits both parties.
The first step in a business owner’s divorce is to determine whether the business is community property or separate property. Who owns the business? This depends on several factors. When was the business founded or inherited? Whose money was used to operate the business? Did the value of the business increase during the marriage?
Once ownership is determined, the next step is to perform a valuation of this business. This may be done by an agreed-upon expert or by each party’s independent experts. In any case, this step is important, so your lawyer needs to understand how to utilize a valuation expert. They also need to have the background and knowledge to understand the expert reports prepared in the case. The process can be overwhelming, so it’s crucial that you have a knowledgeable legal team in place.
Your lawyer needs to be able to advocate for the analysis and positions stated in your expert’s evaluation report. Having someone who can speak the language and anticipate next steps is very important.
Your Attorney Needs to Understand the Discovery Process
It’s always best to compromise and negotiate. In fact, that is always the goal, but the truth is that divorces involving business interests often lead to litigation. Because of this, a good divorce lawyer needs to understand the discovery process.
The discovery process is most often associated with criminal law, so not all divorce lawyers have these skills and background. A business divorce lawyer can quickly identify what information is needed and how to use all available tools to obtain that information.
If the case is going to court, you need to be prepared. You may imagine lawyers arguing in courtrooms, but months of preparation is needed to succeed. The right business divorce lawyer knows how to use depositions, interrogations, and various requests to gain valuable information that can help them support their arguments in court.
Hire a One-Stop Shop
It’s not easy to find a law firm that can help you with your business divorce concerns. You want a team that has extensive experience in family law and business law, as both these legal areas become commingled in a business divorce.
When choosing the right legal team, you need to look closely at credentials and experience. You want someone who is not afraid to fight for you in court, so look at the firm’s litigation experience as well as the outcomes.
Also, look for convenience. Ideally, you want a firm that can take care of all legal aspects of your case without the need for seeking different legal counsel for separate matters. A one-stop shop that can tend to all your legal needs will make things easier for you as you navigate a divorce involving a business.
Contact Us Today
As a business owner, getting a divorce is even more complicated than a normal divorce. You need to know what to look for, as the right legal help to navigate through this situation. The Ohio business owner divorce attorneys at Lawrence Law Office understand the challenges you will face as you deal with splitting your business in a divorce. We understand how complex these situations can be and will provide you with sound legal advice along the way. To schedule a consultation with our office, call 614-228-3664 or fill out the online form.