Should I sell my business before a divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2022 | High-Asset Divorce |

Owning a business makes divorce much more complicated. Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all solution.

According to the New Hampshire General Court, the court divides property equitably. This does not necessarily mean the equal division of all marital property, but it can if the court decides that is the most equitable option. Businesses fall under the category of marital property, and even if you own the company outright, your spouse will likely receive some form of payout for it.

Selling the business as sole owner

One thing that might be in the best interest of both parties is to sell the business before the divorce proceedings start. If your spouse has no ownership stake in the company, you do not have to consult them before selling your business.

Selling your business before a divorce might simplify the process, but it does not mean you can avoid paying out your spouse. The courts consider every aspect of your income and net worth, and any profits you make from a business sale count towards your marital assets. The court might order you to pay a lump sum to your spouse or sign a promissory note of payment, among other options.

Selling as co-owners with your spouse

If you and your spouse own the business together, you still might decide that selling the company before separating is the best option. However, if you cannot agree, then the court will have to intervene during the divorce proceedings.

Selling a business before divorcing makes sense sometimes, but do not rush to any decisions. Taking profits in the short term might be the wrong decision in the long run.