Who runs a family business after a divorce?

Family-owned enterprises in New Jersey have options for management succession during a divorce. Even though you and your spouse decided to dissolve the marriage, continuing to work together may not affect a professional relationship. Depending on the nature of the business, creating schedules that do not require both ex-spouses at work at the same time may help make this a workable option. 

If a company does not require the skills and talents of both ex-spouses to remain in operation, one may simply decide to leave. The remaining spouse, however, must have the ability to run the organization on his or her own or consider hiring individuals who can help manage it. 

Because New Jersey divorce courts divide marital property through equitable distribution laws, you may receive a fair ownership of a business. If this results in a majority share, decisions regarding its management may be yours to make. A company started by both spouses after a marriage, however, may require a fair buyout from the spouse hoping to take over its management. 

As noted by Forbes magazine, if you wish to keep a jointly owned business, you may need to obtain a professional and impartial business appraisal. This can help realistically determine how much to pay to take ownership. If a large sum of cash is not immediately available, you may also consider working out a payment plan as part of the divorce settlement. 

Exchanging other jointly owned property or assets may contribute toward a buyout of your hoped-for share of the business. Mixing and matching assets during a divorce, however, requires a detailed listing of all property purchased or acquired after the marriage. When couples cannot determine how to divide a business fairly, a family court judge may order selling it and splitting the proceeds.