What are the risks a business owner may face in a Carlsbad divorce? What does the owner of a family-owned business, small business, corporate shareholder or licensed professional face during a divorce in San Diego?
The central questions associated with the ownership of a business or professional practice in a California divorce are the nature of the community property interest in the business and how to establish valuation. Generally speaking, in the absence of a prenuptial or post nuptial agreement the community interest in a business or professional practice will be a central issue for a business owner or licensed professional in a California divorce.
Some of the risks a business owner may face in a Carlsbad divorce include, but are not limited to:
Your spouse may be awarded a large portion of stock or ownership in the business or professional practice during property division. When this happens, that spouse may elect to influence the future of the company or sell their interest to an adverse party who would attempt the same. There may be some authority, such as voting rights, associated with that interest and actions which the former spouse may take which could lower the value of the associated stock or the company itself.
The non-ownership spouse may attempt to impose a higher valuation for the business itself in order to increase their portion of the community interest in the company.
Any attempt to reduce the value of the company, misrepresent income or earnings or otherwise affect the operations or value of the business prior to or during the divorce may be viewed as an adversarial action by the Court resulting in harsh financial sanctions, or worse, the loss of the business altogether.
The good news for any business owner or practicing professional is the experienced and proven Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq have represented business owners and professionals in divorce for decades. We have proven strategies to protect your interests. We provide sound counsel as we plan and prepare for an impending divorce. We work to protect your business at every step of the divorce process.
While there are genuine risks a business owner may face in a Carlsbad divorce there are also prudent legal strategies to reduce your exposure, offset any interest your spouse may have in the company and implement protections to preserve your rights and livelihood.