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Divorce involving shared business can be complicated

Getting divorced is a process that can be life disrupting in Montana, especially for those who own businesses. One of the most complicated situations to address during divorce is how to handle a business in which both spouses play an important role. A couple of tips may help to achieve a solution that works for both parties.

One option for spouses who are in business together but decide to get divorced is to keep working together. The spouses can simply serve as co-owners if they are able to handle such a situation from an emotional standpoint. In this situation, however, it is beneficial to create a shareholder agreement that provides either party with the ability to buy out the other party at a price upon which both agree.

Before buying out the interest of a spouse in the business, having a business valuation done is important. In some cases, neither party has enough money to complete a buyout. In these cases, taking out a loan through a bank may be necessary.

Another option in Montana is to simply sell the business and then divide the profits. This solution is straightforward and may be the only solution if the business is the biggest share of a party's assets. The benefit of taking this route is that it can quickly generate money that can be used to pursue other interests. An attorney can explain all of one's options and provide guidance on the best decision to make when dealing with a business during the process of divorce.

Source:, "How to protect your family business during a divorce", Daniel Thompson, Feb. 10, 2017

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