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Ways in Which Divorce Impacts Your Small Business

A considerable percentage of the New Jersey population includes people who are the owners of family or closely held business enterprises. You and your spouse may be such individuals. You may also be like a notable percentage of people in New Jersey who make the decision to seek a divorce in any given year. As a consequence, you likely have a number of questions regarding your business and divorce. These questions may include wanting to have a clearer understanding of how divorce might impact your small business.

When it comes to your business and divorce, there are three primary points to bear in mind:

  • Disruption of day-to-day business operations
  • Disruptive impact on colleagues, employees, and patrons
  • End of business
Disruption of Day-to-Day Business Operations

A major way a divorce potentially can impact a business you own with your spouse is a significant disruption of day-to-day activities. In many instances, when a family owns a small business, both spouses play an active role in its operations. If this is the case, when a couple reaches the point that they are divorcing, they very well may have significant issues working together in a cooperative manner.

Disruptive Impact on Colleagues, Employees, and Patrons

Another significant problem that can occur in regard to a small business and divorce is the disruptive impact a marriage dissolution can have on:

  • Colleagues
  • Employees
  • Patrons
  • Others

In some instances, the disruptive impact can be so significant that major damage can be done to a business and its operations. There can be occasions in which a third party might be brought in to assist in overseeing the business’ operations during divorce proceedings. This type of course can lessen the disruptive impact on a small business when owners are divorcing.

End of Business

The most significant impact divorce can have on a business is that it might result in the enterprise coming to an end. This type of endgame can occur when spouses are unable to reach a meaningful and equitable agreement in regard to keeping the business in operation when divorce proceedings come to an end. Oftentimes, this is something that a divorcing couple desires to avoid.

If the decision in regard to business and divorce is to end the enterprise or at least ownership of it, a number of course can be taken by a divorcing couple:

  • Cessation of business operations and an associated liquidation of assets
  • Sale of business to another party

The shuttering or sale of a business are not necessarily the only alternatives that can occur in the event of a divorce. Other possible scenarios that might be followed in a divorce case include:

  • Set aside the business to one of the spouses, with other assets being given to the other spouse to compensate for his or her financial interest in the business
  • One spouse buys out the other spouse’s interest in the business (either during or at some time after the divorce proceedings)

The possibility can exist that the business ultimately carries on operations with both parties to a divorce maintaining a financial interest in the enterprise. It is also possible for a business to carry on operations with both spouses playing an active role in the enterprise following a divorce. If this is to occur, it is incumbent upon the parties to be able to communicate effectively, treat each other civilly, and be able to make decisions jointly and without a tremendous amount of drama or discord.

Your Business, Divorce, and Protecting Your Legal Rights

If you have questions about business and divorce, or if you are seeking legal assistance in your marriage dissolution case, the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen is here to answer any questions that you may have and explain your legal rights in a New Jersey divorce case. You can schedule an appointment with a New Jersey divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen by calling (201) 845-7400. An initial consultation and case evaluation can be scheduled any time that fits with your schedule.

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Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
★★★★★
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
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*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances