Leading specialist lawyer, Joanne Major, Principal at Major Family Law, the Divorce and Family Law Specialists, Newcastle upon Tyne responds to a weekly question and answer column in the Journal as follows:

Dear Joanne,

My wife and I are both equal partners in our family business. How do we deal with the business on divorce?


Dear Giles,

During the process of divorce you will be required to make full and frank disclosure of your respective financial circumstances and indeed your family business will be considered as an asset of your marriage like any other.

The starting point would be to consider whether your business has any value or are “you both” the business and it simply provides you with an income stream? Valuing a business can be more complex and subjective than valuing other assets for example, property, as there are many factors to be considered such as goodwill, the nature of the business you are involved in as well as the future projected income and overall liquidity. The cost of a potential sale, transfer of shares, capital gains tax and deduction costs will also have to be taken into account.

I would need to understand more about your particular business for me to assess these factors but in all cases it is helpful to obtain both legal and accountancy input from the very outset. As a business owner myself I have first hand knowledge of these issues so feel free to call me.

Major Law 18.2.15