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Dividing a business in a divorce

When people in Washington decide to divorce, the situation can become more complex when a family business is involved. Divorce can involve an array of emotional, practical and financial considerations, and in most cases, a fair distribution of family assets is a goal. However, it can be particularly challenging to reach an agreement when both spouses are part of a business, especially as Washington is a community property state. In order to divide a company as part of a divorce, each spouse will need to decide how they want to be involved with the firm moving forward. Decisions can be made using this as a basis.

One of the most important steps to dealing with a family business in a divorce is establishing a clear valuation for the company. People may not be aware of the true market financial value of the venture and may tend to overvalue or undervalue its worth. By hiring an independent appraiser, the couple can establish a value that allows them to negotiate how the business will be handled. In some cases, one spouse will keep the business by essentially buying out the other party by conceding a larger share of other property.

In other cases, both spouses are committed to remaining business partners even after their romantic relationship is over. This is best for couples with a more amicable connection who are able to put their business interests first. In still other cases, both spouses sell the business and divide the proceeds as part of the divorce.

Business owners can face unique challenges when they decide to end their marriages. By working with a family law attorney, a divorcing spouse can aim to achieve a fair resolution on a range of issues in addition to property division.

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