Peterson Paletta Balice

How to Protect Your Business From a Divorce

Grand Rapids & Ionia Attorneys

Divorce Attorneys Grand Rapids Ionia Michigan


You’ve spent a lot of time, effort, and money into building your business. The last thing you want is to have it crumble to the ground because you didn’t protect it from a divorce. That’s why it’s so important that you schedule a legal consultation with one of our divorce lawyers in Grand Rapids and Ionia. They’ll be able to help guide you through your next steps so you can preserve as much of your company as possible.

If you plan on filing for divorce, call one of our divorce attorneys as soon as possible and consider our tips below.

Pay Yourself a Fair Salary

Your ex-spouse may be entitled to the company’s assets if you withheld money from your household to grow the business. You can easily avoid this situation by paying yourself a good salary.

Ease Your Spouse Out of the Business

Your spouse will have less claim on your company if they don’t work there. If you have time before you know you’ll be filing for divorce, ease them out of the business as soon as possible. The more involved your spouse is in the business, the more likely their attorney will argue their client deserves a cut of the profits. A judge might agree.

Companies you started before getting married have a better chance of remaining untouched in a divorce. However, the court may decide otherwise if they see your ex-spouse greatly contributed to the company during the marriage. The court may also see the company’s increased value over the course of your marriage as a marital asset.

Keep Your Family and Business Finances Separate

Keep your family and company finances separate. For example, don’t dip into the household account you share with your spouse to invest in new company equipment. Otherwise, it’ll be easy for your ex-spouse to argue that they have a claim to your business. Our divorce lawyers can help you prove your business didn’t touch shared family accounts.

The longer you’ve been married, the more likely your company has grown in value or commingled with other marital assets. In these situations, the judge would determine your company is a marital asset that needs to be properly divided.

Give Up Other Assets

In the state of Michigan, marital assets have to be valued and divided properly. If you don’t want to relinquish control of your business, we may recommend giving up other assets in its place. For example, you may choose to give up the house or retirement accounts in exchange for keeping 100% ownership of the business.

Related: How to Win Child Custody During a Divorce →

Hire a Neutral Party to Appraise Your Business

Don’t agree to an appraisal until it’s been reviewed by a neutral outside party. If your company is marital property, its appraised value will affect how much you have to pay your ex-spouse for their share.

Request a Legal Consultation for Divorce

Have questions pertaining to how your marriage or divorce will affect your business? Request a consultation with one of our divorce attorneys in Grand Rapids and Ionia, Michigan. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our legal team will reach out to you soon.

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