How to Protect Your Business in a Florida Divorce

Key Takeaways
  • In Florida, a business acquired during marriage is generally considered marital property subject to equitable distribution in divorce proceedings.
  • A business owner divorce requires analyzing numerous factors, including revenue, assets, liabilities, market conditions, and the contributions of both spouses.
  • Strategies in a business owner divorce include professional valuation, buyouts, co-ownership arrangements, or selling the business and dividing the proceeds.
  • Traditional gender roles sometimes influence the division of business assets in a divorce, potentially leading to inequitable outcomes.
  • Because starting a new business during divorce proceedings is fraught with legal and financial complications, it may be wise to wait until after the divorce is finalized.

Navigating a business owner divorce in Florida presents unique challenges and complexities. At O’Mara Law Group, we specialize in guiding business owners through the intricacies of divorce proceedings, ensuring the protection of their marital and nonmarital assets.

Our experienced attorneys understand the nuances of Florida’s equitable distribution laws and how they apply to business valuation, division of assets, and future earning potential. We provide personalized, strategic legal solutions aimed at achieving favorable outcomes while minimizing the impact on your business operations. To learn more about the high quality of our services, explore our client testimonials

Let us help you manage the legal aspects of your divorce with confidentiality and expertise, safeguarding your hard-earned success. Schedule your free, confidential consultation today.

Is a Business Considered Marital Property?

Even in an uncontested divorce, dividing marital property is tricky. Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means that marital assets (including businesses) are divided in a manner deemed fair by the court, though not necessarily equally. 

Whether a business is marital property depends on various factors, including how the business was funded and the contribution of both spouses to its growth and success. A business will normally be considered marital property if it was started or acquired during the marriage, even if only one spouse is involved in its day-to-day operations.

If the business was established before the marriage, it might initially be considered separate property. However, any increase in the value of the business during the marriage, particularly if it can be attributed to the investment of marital funds or the efforts of either spouse, could be considered a marital asset subject to division.

The specifics of how a business is treated in a divorce can be complex and often require detailed financial analysis and valuation to ensure a fair distribution. That said, in the words of one Florida judge, “[the] goal should be to devise a plan of distribution which causes the least interference with the ongoing business of the corporation, yet which is practical and beneficial to both spouses.”

Determining the Value of a Business During Divorce

Though dividing a business in a divorce can be complex, our Florida property division lawyers can help. The first step is always determining the value of the business, which will involve careful consideration of multiple factors. These may include:

Ultimately, the valuation of a business in divorce can be complex. In high-asset divorces involving larger businesses, the stakes may be much higher and the appraisal more complicated. We can work alongside expert appraisers and accountants to make sure the full value of the business is represented in divorce filings. In a contested divorce, the parties may insist on using their own recruiting their own valuation experts. 

How Traditional Gender Roles Can Negatively Affect Business Division in a Florida Divorce

Though increasingly uncommon as the decades go by, the division of businesses in divorce proceedings can also be affected by traditional gender roles (e.g., stay-at-home-mom and working-dad paradigms). This can lead to varied outcomes—often inequitable. They may influence each spouse’s involvement in the business, access to crucial information, and the perceived value of their contributions, which can complicate negotiations and the equitable division of assets.

Remember, the Florida legal system has a deep interest in ensuring fair outcomes in divorces. If you feel the cards are stacked against you in your divorce due to the dynamics described above, our women’s divorce attorneys are standing by to make sure you are well-represented. 

Options for Business Owners During Divorce

Dividing a business in divorce can be complex, but various techniques can be used to achieve a fair and equitable distribution:

Should I Start a Business Before My Divorce Is Finalized?

Probably not. Starting a business during a divorce can be fraught with challenges, and it may ultimately be wise to wait. Taking on divorce proceedings and a new business venture simultaneously demands careful consideration of legal and financial implications. 

Divorce can significantly impact the business, from its valuation and the division of assets to future alimony payments and child support obligations. Moreover, the business may be subject to claims by your spouse, especially if marital funds are used or if the venture begins before the divorce is finalized. 

The stress and uncertainties associated with divorce could also affect your focus as you try to successfully launch and grow a new business. Balancing the demands of a divorce with the rigorous requirements of starting a business requires substantial energy, time, and emotional bandwidth.

Rely on an Orlando Property Division Attorney from the O’Mara Law Group

Our Florida divorce attorneys at O’Mara Law Group have a proven record of helping divorcing spouses evaluate and equitably divide marital property, including businesses. We take pride in protecting our clients’ interests and ensuring the best results for them and their families.  

When you partner with us, you get award-winning attorneys with a strong local and national reputation. Our awards and accolades include:

Our family law attorneys focus on helping people through difficult situations and finding equitable solutions. If you need help protecting your business during a divorce, schedule a consultation today. 

Our Orlando Divorce Attorneys Can Help

Keeping your business is likely of the utmost importance to you when going through a divorce, but that does not mean that you should give up everything else just to keep it. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando divorce attorneys can advise on your case, outline your options, and give you the best chance of keeping your business without giving up your rights. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.


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