Some of the most complicated divorce cases involve family-owned business. A family business is a marital asset. Whether you’re the only owner or there are lots of owners involved in the company, a divorce that involves a business can put the company at risk. Here’s how to protect your company during a divorce:
Get a Business Appraisal
The business is a marital asset, but that alone doesn’t mean much. A business is only as valuable as it’s real, positive net worth. It’s important to have an accurate picture of the true value of the business in order to argue to the court for a fair division of the assets. You can work with a forensic accountant in order to evaluate profits and losses as well as determine a value for the good name of the business and the existing client base.
Consider Asking for a Restraining Order
It can be tempting to want to vent to friends and family during a divorce. If you’re worried that the other side may try to tarnish the business’ good name or act inappropriately in order to chase business away, you may be able to get a restraining order from the court. A restraining order might prevent one of the parties from going to the office. It also might prevent a party from posting on social media or making other statements that might be particularly harmful to the company.
Get Ready to Object to Discovery
Parties in a divorce often take advantage of a process called discovery. Discovery allows you to demand records from the other side. It also allows you to conduct depositions of the other party or third-party witnesses.
While discovery is an important tool in a discovery proceeding, it shouldn’t be used as a tool to harass employees at your family business. If the other side asks for confidential personal information from your employees or if they file a burdensome discovery request, you can fight back by asking the court to protect you. Family lawyers from a firm like Gomez May LLP can help you prepare the right objections if the other side tries to use discovery improperly.
Protecting What Matters Most
Your business is your livelihood. When you’re getting divorced, there are things that you can do in order to protect your business from harassment and unfair tactics. Determining a fair value for your business can help you get a fair distribution of the assets and protect the health and strength of your company into the future.