One of the most challenging parts of getting divorced in Oklahoma can be dividing up the family business. Even if you put more work into it than your spouse, the business is a marital asset like everything else. However, some strategies might allow you to keep the business after your divorce.
How do you divide up the family business?
If you and your estranged spouse are on civil terms, you might agree to keep joint ownership of the business. Essentially, nothing will change. However, you and your former spouse will have to continue to work together after your divorce. Some people can handle the challenge, but others have to leave or dissolve the business in the end.
A buyout is a more common option. If you still want to keep the business, you could take full ownership and give your spouse a settlement in exchange. However, this option might cost you a lot of assets. This solution could also cause tax issues if you don’t plan it out carefully. On the other hand, if you want to leave the business but your spouse wants to stay, they could offer you a settlement that covers your share of the company.
Finally, you and your former spouse could sell the business if neither of you wants to stay. You’ll split the proceeds, then go your separate ways and let someone else take over the company. The only downside is that you’ll have to find a buyer, which could extend your divorce by several months. You and your estranged spouse could also dissolve the business, but you may walk away empty-handed.
What if you signed a prenup?
If you started your business before you got married and signed a prenup, you might be able to protect the majority of your business assets. However, your estranged spouse might still be entitled to a number of marital assets.
Your attorney could tell you which assets you should give up and which ones you could keep. You might be able to offer your spouse a settlement in exchange for your most treasured assets, like your business or a fine art collection.