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New York divorce dispute: the future of the family business?

Numerous couples in New York and elsewhere own businesses together. What happens to these businesses when these couples choose to divorce? Unfortunately, the future of a family-owned company can cause quite a divorce dispute.

When a couple opts to divorce, unless a prenuptial agreement is in place, all marital assets -- including a shared business -- are up for grabs. However, unlike other assets, a court will not really have a say as to who gets awarded the business, and the company will not automatically be split between a couple in a even fashion. A couple must decide what they want to do with the company.

So, what are the options for divorcing business partners? If desired, exes can continue to own their companies together. However, those who feel that they can no longer work together successfully may choose to sell their businesses. This can be done by one partner selling his or her half to his or her ex or by both parties agreeing to sell to a third-party. The final decision is one that only the soon-to-be exes can make, based upon what they feel is best for their circumstances.

Deciding what to do with a family-owned business during divorce can be difficult. The inability to agree on what is best can create a divorce dispute that can take time to resolve. Thankfully, with the help of legal counsel and other professionals, couples in New York can come to terms that are best for their personal and professional lives.

Source: Forbes, "How To Handle Divorce In A Family Business", Larry Light, March 7, 2016

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