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My wife and I own a business. How can we split it in divorce?

When you co-own a business with the spouse whom you are divorcing, it can be a bit of a sticky wicket. Few couples manage to soldier on together in the business post-split.

So, it's likely that this will be the most difficult part of your property settlement, particularly if you both are dependent on it for your living. If the business has other family members with ownership interests, it can get even more complex. Below are some tips for dividing the family business in a divorce.

Get an appraisal

Never begin haggling until you know the accurate value of your business. While each spouse may hire their own appraiser, often the two can agree to split the cost of one independent appraiser who has no bias toward either spouse.

Decide what you want

Do you want to keep the business, or would you prefer that your spouse buys you out? If you are the one at the helm, it makes sense to fight for your business. You can buy out your spouse's interest by directly purchasing shares. When you transfer property during a divorce, it can be advantageous for tax purposes.

You should speak with your financial adviser about other ways to dodge having to pay capital gains at tax time.

Sometimes, it may be best to simply sell the business outright and split the money. Separately, the two of you can embark on brand new ventures. But this option might take a while longer, and you will still need to set terms about the business in the interim.

Your Atlanta family law attorney can help you evaluate your options and choose the one that works the best for you.

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