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When Divorce Involves a Business Split


This has been submitted by Peter Lynn and Partners 

Divorce can be a difficult time and whilst many presume correctly the main concern is children, on many occasions, there are many other important factors such as business ownership.

Aspects that need to be considered include:

  • Division of assets
  • Pensions
  • Tax issues
  • Division of debt
  • Business Structure

 Sara Plant, Partner and divorce specialist at Peter Lynn & Partners commented;

“A business can be established in many different ways and this will have a direct impact on how it is dealt with during a marital breakdown”.

Whilst divorce can be extremely emotional on a personal level and complex on a business level, the sooner an agreement can be reached regarding the business, the better it is for all concerned, directly and indirectly.

If possible, a trained mediator can be used to agree the business split in a manner that is fair and equitable for all parties.  If this is not an option, the next alternative is to seek the advice of a law firm that can offer both matrimonial and commercial law services.

By combining both areas of law, you can be sure your business interests are properly considered without being classified as another ‘asset’.  To this end, transfer of shares, debt, business assets and many other factors can be evaluated in a manner that seeks to protect the business, its staff and clients.

Exit strategies and new business structures can be established and if needed, sources of finance can be identified to secure funds for any potential buy-outs, mergers or re-structures should a partner need to be ‘bought-out’.

 Sara continued;

“For a limited company where husband and wife or civil partners are involved in the business, having the positions documented correctly allows not only for the business to be managed through successful times, but also to deal with any future splits”.

What can be done to help?

Shareholder Agreements

Stating who owns what and how these shares can then be transferred.

 Service Contracts

Providing a mechanism to deal with a director leaving voluntarily (or otherwise).

 Partnership Agreements

Crucial to determining who owns what and precisely what is contained within the partnership and what is not.

The divorce and family law team at Peter Lynn and Partners are arguably the largest in the region with 14 lawyers and 8 support staff offering a successful combination of experience and resources when working with clients.

For expert advice that includes matrimonial and commercial law, contact the specialists by emailing [email protected]