Protecting Your Business

If either or both of you and your spouse are involved in your own business or a family business, whether as a sole trader, partnership, or limited company, that business will form part of the matrimonial assets under consideration in any financial settlement or order.

Traditionally, the Court avoided making any Order which would result in the sale of such a business and it would be more likely to be assessed on the basis of being a source of income. Recent case law, however, has established that there is no longer an assumption that a family business will automatically be protected on divorce.

As part of the financial proceedings, the business may need to be valued, and then a determination made as to how that value should be dealt with in the making of financial provision.

This can potentially have far reaching consequences, not just for the parties to the marriage, but for all those involved with the business in question, as they will be equally bound by the Court’s decision as to the future of the business.

Decisions may not necessarily involve sale of the business, but that is a real possibility, and at the very least, as a result of divorce, there is likely to be a significant restructure. Valuation can be complex and can extend to land owned by the business and company pension schemes, as well as unravelling who has made what contribution to the business, particularly when the contribution may not have been in direct financial terms.

If your marriage is in difficulty, you should seek advice as soon as possible about your business in order to understand how best to protect its future and how to continue to operate in practical terms during what is an undeniably difficult time.

Here at Major Family Law, we have the experience and expertise to advise you fully in relation to the business, to assist you in obtaining an accurate valuation of the business, and to guide you towards a successful settlement in a way that both protects your interests and avoids unnecessary disputes wherever possible.