What happens to a business during a divorce?

Child custody and visitation, child support and alimony, and asset division are significant matters that can make a divorce extremely challenging. When one or both spouses own a business, the future of the business can become a mystery. What can happen to a company in a divorce?

The business divorce process can be complicated.  While many things can impact the outcome of a divorce, there are typically three primary outcomes a business experiences in a divorce.


A spouse has the potential to purchase the other spouse’s portion of the company. For this to work, the couple will need to agree with how much the piece is worth. They can determine this value by getting an unbiased appraisal of the business, then calculating the business portion’s sale price by basing it on the amount of the company the selling spouse owned.


If both spouses have an interest in keeping their share of the business, they can proceed with maintaining their ownership. The dynamic of the ownership may change, however. One spouse may decide to give up any responsibility and leave the decision-making to the other while collecting their share of the income.

Selling the business

If the spouses cannot agree on a price to sell a portion of the business, or if neither spouse is interested in maintaining the company, they may both agree to sell the company entirely. The money from the sale may split between both parties based on the percentage of the business they owned.

Pursue your choice

If you are facing a divorce as a business owner, consult with an attorney about what option best suits your business, and what you can do to achieve that goal. Whether you want to keep your share of the company, sell it, or sell it entirely, rely on the guidance of an attorney for the support you need.