06th July 2016
Am I entitled to half my husband's or wife’s business?
Often when a couple decide to separate there will be a business involved. This can be run by either one person or by both. Any business interests must be considered as part of a financial settlement.
What information is needed?
The Court will expect accounts for the last two years to be provided. Consideration will need to be given to whether the business needs to be valued by specialist accountants. This will depend upon the type of business. Many businesses will not own assets but will simply provide an income. It is unlikely such businesses would need to be valued as the amount of income would be looked at. If the business owns property, machinery or other assets it may be necessary to instruct an expert to provide a valuation before any negotiations can take place.
What will happen to the business?
The Court has a range of options available when dealing with business assets and interests. Much will depend upon the business itself, the other assets available and the needs of the parties involved.
It is extremely rare that a Court would order a sale of a business. Following the financial settlement both parties need to be able to support themselves. A sale can often therefore be counter productive.
There is a power to order the sale of particular assets to raise money to ensure both parties are adequately housed. The Court would have to look at the impact this would have on the business though.
This is when one person receives a greater share of the other assets to compensate for the other person retaining the business. This will depend upon whether there are other assets available and their value.
The Court has the power to split any income received by one person. By ordering maintenance to be paid the business can continue to run as it has always done but the other person can still meet their needs. This does not mean that the other person become involved in the business.
There are powers available to transfer ownership of some of the shares (in a company) from one party to another. This allows them to benefit from dividends and any future sale.
How to make contact
Cartwright King has a team of family solicitors who can assist in divorce proceedings involving business interests. Please feel free to contact the team on 0808 168 5550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll call you back.