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The Law Offices of James A. Cuddy, LLC

Call To Find Your Way Forward 203-583-8256

Call To Find Your Way Forward 203-583-8256

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What you can do to keep the family business intact during divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2024 | Blog, Divorce

Divorce can be complex and emotional, particularly when it involves a family business. In Connecticut, there are strategies to consider for people who wish to keep the family business intact despite the dissolution of the marital relationship.

Connecticut follows the principle of equitable distribution when dividing marital assets. While this does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split, it emphasizes fairness. When it comes to a family business, the court will assess various factors, including the contribution of each spouse to the business, its value and the economic circumstances of each party.

Valuation of the family business

A professional appraiser can provide an unbiased assessment of the worth of a business. This helps establish a fair division of assets. This valuation serves as a foundation for negotiation and can show the business’s significance to the family.

Buyout agreement

In some cases, one spouse may be more financially capable or interested in maintaining the family business. Negotiating a buyout agreement allows for the smooth transfer of ownership without liquidating the business. Clear terms and financial arrangements can protect both parties’ interests.

Co-ownership structure

For couples amicable enough to continue working together, establishing a co-ownership structure might be a viable option. This involves defining each spouse’s role and responsibilities, as well as implementing mechanisms to address potential conflicts. Effective communication and a shared commitment to the business’s success are essential for this arrangement to thrive.

Succession plan

About 355,596 small businesses operate in Connecticut. Identifying and grooming successors within the family can provide stability and continuity. This strategic approach ensures that the business remains within the family’s control, even as marital dynamics evolve.

Mediation and collaborative processes

Exploring alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, can foster a more cooperative environment. These processes encourage open communication and compromise. They let spouses actively participate in crafting solutions that prioritize the family business’s continuity.

While divorce is inherently challenging, it does not necessarily mean the end of a family business.