Every marriage is a partnership, and when your marriage is also a business partnership it can bring unique challenges to your divorce. How will you divide the business that you have built together? Will one of you have to sacrifice other assets to take sole ownership of the business? Could you possibly manage the stress of running a business with your ex?
If you cannot operate the business together after your divorce and neither you nor your spouse is able to buy the other out, you may be faced with the need to sell the business. Splitting the proceeds will make it simpler to divide your assets, but it can also be a difficult option during an already taxing time.
Business sales take time.
No matter the size of your business, it will take time to prepare it for sale and to find a buyer. The majority of business sales take 4 to 6 months, and during that time you will also be negotiating your divorce. Discuss a timeline for the sale of your business so that it can be accounted for in asset division and so that you know how much time you can wait for a good offer.
You will also need to discuss how you want to handle your day-to-day business dealings while you are finalizing the sale. Will you continue operations as usual? Will you make a change with the sale in mind?
Setting an appropriate price can be a challenge.
As Forbes notes, it is important that you and your spouse to discuss the minimum price you would be willing to accept. The timeline of your sale may require you and your spouse to accept a lower offer, and discussing your minimum will help you minimize conflict about whether or not to accept a buyer’s offer.
Ultimately, the decision to sell your business during a divorce needs to be a strategic one. You will need to work with trusted advisers like your attorney and financial adviser in order to explore the challenges you face and make an informed decision. However, it is possible for the sale of your business to ease the challenges of asset division and to help you start your single life with a stronger foundation.