divorce litigation lawyers in california
Dissolving a Marriage
Divorce is difficult no matter your circumstances. The process of achieving total legal separation from a spouse requires a lot of time, attention, and paperwork. Many people label this as the most stressful time of their lives.
Unfortunately, some circumstances can make divorce even more complicated. Owning a business with your spouse is one such circumstance. Splitting the business as an asset is a very involved process, and it requires an attorney who understands the intricacies of both business and divorce law.
Our family law team at the Law Offices of Lisa R. McCall is highly trained in divorce for business owners. We can help you to make complex property division decisions that are in your best interest and protect you from losing everything you’ve worked for. We support you throughout the divorce and property division processes to ensure that the ultimate agreement benefits you, your spouse, and your community property business.
The Law Offices of Lisa R. McCall: Your Orange County Divorce Business Valuation Attorneys
When it comes to divorce, no one understands Orange County family law better than our team at the Law Offices of Lisa R. McCall. We have over two decades of combined experience in this area, and we know how to approach your community property business properly to ensure the best results. If your case goes to court, we are confident that we have the experience and tenacity to properly fight your case. Our peers in the family law business know that we are relentless and thorough in our pursuit of a fair settlement for our clients.
Community property is a complicated factor in many divorces, especially when you and your spouse are co-owners of a company. However, our team knows that there are many ways to approach changing ownership to ensure your business does not have to suffer or change hands to stay afloat. Through in-court litigation, mediation, and dedication, we are here to make your divorce process as easy and stress-free as it can be.
How Is a Business Owner Divorce Different?
Many people don’t immediately understand why special steps need to be taken when business ownership is involved in a divorce. Though this is normal, it is important to educate yourself on all possibilities when you are deciding whether divorce is the right avenue for you.
State and federal laws consider a business to be an asset to its owner. After all, the company is theoretically a source of income, and it has the capacity to put thousands of dollars in an owner’s pocket. Because businesses are considered assets, they must be included when divorcing parties are dividing their properties.
This can be complicated in many ways. If the members of a marriage are co-owners of a business, the court must decide how to split the business so that both members get their fair share. If there is only one managing spouse and the other is not involved, the court must figure out how to counterbalance the business asset with other marital assets. In the end, the assets given to each party must be equal. This means the managing spouse could lose their business if there is no clean way to divide assets. They may also have to share management with their soon-to-be ex-spouse, creating a complicated dynamic. In some scenarios, business owners are forced to sell their business and split the profits to balance the assets held by each party.
The simple act of divorce can complicate the business as well. As an owner, you may not have access to your savings during the divorce, making it difficult to pay employees, vendors, and landlords. All in all, the process is extremely intricate.
Why Do I Need an Orange County Divorce Attorney?
Some people believe that they can navigate the divorce process on their own. Though this is never a good idea, it’s especially risky if you own a business, with or without your spouse. Your entire livelihood may be on the line, and you run the risk of losing your business. Though an attorney can never guarantee that this won’t happen, we do give you the best chance of avoiding it. With our help, you can prioritize your business and help to protect your investment.
As noted, business valuations are complicated matters, no matter your circumstances. It’s in your best interest to seek proper legal help during a California divorce that involves business ownership.
Business Owner Divorce and Prenuptial Agreements
One major way to protect your business is to create a prenuptial agreement before you are married. These agreements can help to ensure your business remains in your possession if you do end up getting divorced. Though many newlyweds don’t want to think about divorce, it’s an important consideration. A prenuptial agreement can save you a lot of time, effort, and heartache down the line. It can also ensure your spouse doesn’t go after your business out of spite or revenge, which is more common than most people think.
If you are already married, you may want to consider a postnuptial agreement to protect your business. These agreements act similarly to prenuptials, but they can be created after two people are already married. Though you may not be able to include all of the protections of a prenup, you can certainly add some protection that can be helpful if you divorce.
Business Owner Divorce and Child Custody
If you own a business, with or without your spouse, and you have children, your business may contribute to the child custody that the court grants you. For example, if you are the sole owner of your business and you are allowed to retain full ownership in the divorce, you may receive diminished child custody because you are too busy at work. Courts take work schedules into account when granting custody, so owning a business may make it seem like you don’t have time to see your children.
You may also be asked to pay child support, even if you are granted shared custody. If your business is profitable, you must use your increased income to help to support your children in accordance with your salary. This is a requirement of all divorced parents, even those who don’t own businesses. However, child support is one way that a divorce can still affect your business and income, even if you have a prenup or postnup agreement.
Is My Spouse Entitled to Half of My Business If We Divorce in California?
In the event of a divorce, each spouse is entitled to half of the business’s value in the divorce. This is because the business is considered community property. However, this does not necessarily mean that half of the business will become your spouse’s. You may be able to agree upon a solution.
For example, let’s say both your home and your business are valued at $500,000. Rather than both of you taking half of the house and half of the business, your attorneys may agree that one spouse can have the home while the other keeps the business. There are other similar ways to ensure settlements are equal without dividing your business.
Having a strong business divorce attorney is key to ensuring your business’s continued success. With our help, you may be able to retain your business and avoid losing an asset that is extremely important to you.
What Happens When Business Owners Divorce?
If both you and your spouse own and run the business together, leaving it to one spouse may not be an option. If both spouses wish to retain the business, the court often gives each owner an equal share of the business unless there is a reason that one spouse should receive a higher percentage. Though equal shares may seem like a good compromise, it can force two divorced individuals to interact on a professional level, which can be challenging.
How Do I Protect My Business in a California Divorce?
The best way to protect your business in the event of an Orange County divorce is through a marital agreement such as a prenup or postnup. However, if these aren’t available, you can try to get your business classified as separate property or partially separate property. In the case of divorce, a separate property holding may be exempt from being divided and redistributed.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to protect your business. In all situations, you need an honest and serious conversation with your spouse about your choices.
Contact the Law Offices of Lisa R. McCall
Here at the Law Offices of Lisa R. McCall, we pride ourselves on our ability to help business owners achieve mutually beneficial, legal divorces. We understand this process extremely well, and we know the details that make everything fall into place. No matter what your situation may be, we can help you to protect your business, your family, and your changing future during your Orange County divorce.
For more information on how we can help you, contact the Law Offices of Lisa R. McCall online today.