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Spouses of business owners: Know if you're entitled to assets

If you are not the spouse who ran a business during your marriage, you might think it's fine to leave the business alone and to walk away. However, you're likely entitled to some part of the profits from that business and may even be liable for some debts.

In a business divorce, the business owner, whether that's your spouse or a spouse and their business partner, will likely want to retain as much of the business as possible. You, as the spouse of a business owner, are also the owner through marriage. You're entitled to certain parts of the business in most cases, even if the other party was running the show. You'd have the right to fight for a role in the business or for a portion of the business during your divorce, too.

If you're not interested in having anything to do with the business, that's fine, and it's probably what your spouse would appreciate most. However, the business owner likely still has to buy you out or make sure you get a fair share of profits, stocks or other assets. If there are other assets you'd like, you may be able to negotiate for those rather than to go after the business.

Whether you were a part of the day-to-day business of your spouse's company or not, you were there when they needed support. Business divorce can be complicated, especially when you find that you're entitled to more than you expected. Learn more about your rights on our website, so you know if you can expect to be treated as part of the business throughout your divorce.

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