In this day and age, a considerable number of Virginia residents own and run their own businesses. As is the case with the nation at large, statistics generally suggest that about half of marriages in this United States will one day end in divorce. The divorce process and the ultimate dissolution of a marriage can impact a business in a number of ways.
Division of marital assets and a business
Depending on when a business was started, whether it was before or after the start of the marriage, all or at least some of the value of the enterprise will be deemed a marital asset. The laws governing division of property in a divorce will come into play. In a community property state, the presumption is that the value of a business should be divided equally between the spouses. In a state that uses the equitable division standard, the value of the business should be divided in a manner that is fair and just according to the circumstances. Virginia is not a community property state, so it follows the equitable division standard.
Dissolution of a business
In a notable number of divorce cases, even more well-established businesses end up dissolving. The dissolution of a business because of a divorce occurs for a variety of reasons, including the inability of the parties in a divorce to devise a means to divide marital assets in such a manner that the business can remain whole and functioning.
Divorce, business, and a prenuptial agreement
If a business was started by one party to a divorce before the marriage occurred and continued to operate during the marriage, a prenuptial agreement can prove to be a valuable instrument. A prenup can provide agreed guidance about how the business is to be addressed during a divorce.
When a divorcing couple owns a business, the spouses are well-served by seeking experienced legal assistance. There are divorce lawyers who have extensive backgrounds in high-asset marriage dissolution cases and those that involve businesses as assets.