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Businesses in Illinois divorces are typically considered marital property. Even if only one spouse operated the business, it is generally assumed that the profits from the business contributed to the needs of the couple, the children, and the household. Due to this, when one or both spouses operated a business during the marriage, it is subject to the property division rules of the state. Dividing a business is one of the most complicated aspects of any divorce and typically, there are three ways in which it can be done.
You can give your spouse something that is equal to their portion of the business in one of two ways. If you operate the business and want to continue doing so after the divorce, you can simply buy your spouse out. In this method, the value of the business is divided and you will have to pay your spouse their equal share. In some cases, you may not have to buy out your spouse, but you may allow them to keep more assets during property division hearings. For example, if you want to keep the business and your spouse wants to keep the family home that is approximately the same value, you can forfeit your rights to the home and retain control of your business.
If you do not wish to continue running the business after divorce, selling it might be a good option. In this instance, the business is simply sold and you and your spouse will divide the proceeds fairly. This is not always a good option, as many people do not want to lose the hard work they have put into a business to simply sell it. However, if neither spouse wants it, or you both co-owned and operated the business and you will not be able to continue doing so once the divorce is final, this may be the only way to do it.
This method of dividing a business is much rarer, but it is possible. If you and your spouse can continue to get along peacefully after the divorce and you both want to continue running the business, you can simply keep it. Emotionally, there are sometimes challenges to this option, but it can also allow both of you to benefit from the business, now and in the future.
Dividing a business, like dividing any property during divorce, is not easy. Businesses though, come with some unique challenges when dividing them. When you need help valuing and dividing your business, our skilled Hinsdale divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio are here to help. Call us at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help. We will advise on your best option and assist you throughout the entire divorce process to ensure that your best interests are always protected.