If you and your spouse own a small business and are divorcing, assets and debts will be divided between the parties as part of a property settlement agreement. This may include the division of common assets such as the marital residence, vehicles and bank accounts and it may include the division of a business interest, which can prove more difficult to value.
Illinois Divorce With a Family Business
When valuing a business for the purposes of marital property division in a divorce, job one is determining whether the business interest is separate or marital property. If the business interest was acquired during your marriage with joint funds, it will likely be considered marital property.
On the other hand, if the business interest was owned prior to the date of marriage or acquired with separate funds, it may be considered separate property.
However, keep in mind that just because a business interest was acquired prior to the date of marriage doesn’t mean the non-owner spouse is cut off. The financial or labor-related contributions made by a spouse to a business during the marriage will figure into the equation when dividing the asset.
For example, if one spouse acquired a business interest years before marrying but used marital funds to improve or expand the business physically or through an advertising campaign, the non-owner spouse is entitled to half of the money invested plus half of any increase in value due to the financial contribution.
Contact an Experienced Illinois Complex Divorce Lawyer for Help
Divorce with a family business is inherently more complex, so it is important to work with an experienced complex divorce lawyer to protect your interests. Contact Libertyville, Illinois complex divorce lawyer Ronald L. Bell PC & Associates at 847-495-6000 for answers to your questions regarding Illinois property division when a business interest is at stake.