Couples who own and operate a Florida small business together may decide to divide or sell it during a divorce. If you plan to keep an enterprise for yourself, however, you may need to “buy out” your spouse for its fair and equitable value.
Florida’s laws consider property acquired while married as belonging to your marital community. During a divorce, the title of each asset divides fairly between you and your spouse, according to The Florida Bar. The amount of fairness generally consists of how much each spouse contributed to a business.
Valuing ownership based on each spouse’s contribution
If your spouse actively managed your business or contributed valuable skills that generated income, he or she has a right to receive a fair share of the enterprise. As reported by Wealth Management magazine, a valuation expert may review your financial statements and current opportunities to determine the worth of your company.
A divorce settlement may include a lump sum payment to your spouse for his or her contribution to the growth of your business. The fair market value of your business may also help to determine fairness when dividing ownership of your other marital assets, such as a house. You may, for example, keep your business in exchange for your spouse taking ownership of your family home.
Running and operating a business with an ex-spouse
Some couples find a way to amicably continue running a business together after a divorce. If you decide this fits your goals, you and your spouse may need to create a business plan that outlines how its future income would split fairly. You may also need to consider child support and spousal maintenance as part of your operating agreement.