When divorce occurs in Missouri or any other state, spouses may face obstacles regarding asset division in court. Especially in a high net worth situation (for instance, if a successful business is owned by both spouses) emotions may be highly charged regarding who gets what and what will happen to the business. Sometimes, it’s determined that selling a business is the fairest way to handle such circumstances. If one spouse plans to try to maintain control of a business, however, it’s best to avoid hidden assets or other questionable means for protecting one’s interests.
It’s not uncommon for one spouse to forfeit assets in exchange for sole business ownership. This has prompted some people to hide luxury items or money by conducting secret sales or making loans to friends or other family members. Hiding assets in divorce is illegal; it’s also a sure way to destroy credibility.
There are other lawful ways to protect business interests in divorce. For instance, the spouse who wishes to retain full ownership of a business can agree to allow the other spouse to take possession of real estate, vehicles, art collections, etc. of equal value to the business. A business valuation must first be sought in order to determine the value of the business.
One spouse might agree to accept share payments over time. If that person’s shared interests in a business amount to $1 million, a written agreement can be signed specifying a payment plan so that spouse gets paid in full while the other spouse retains ownership of the business. Anyone in Missouri wishing to avoid hidden assets trouble, while finding amicable solutions to business-related issues in divorce can consult with an experienced family law attorney to explore more options.
Source: tgdaily.com, “3 Ways to Protect Your Business from Divorce“, Ian Reading, Accessed on June 8, 2017