Division of Family Businesses in Divorce

Dealing with divorce can be difficult and distressing enough without the added complication of having to deal with complex matrimonial assets like a family business. With our expert hand to guide you through the process, we can help you reach a mutual agreement that will protect your business and financial interests.

At Braddon & Snow, we know that dealing with divorce where a family business is involved can feel like a minefield, having the potential to impact you personally, professionally and financially. You may be wondering how your business assets are going to be split, if your business will survive or what the potential future risks might be?

Our dedicated Family Law team have specialist expertise in helping divorcing couples on how best to divide their business assets in order to achieve a fair and equitable settlement, safeguarding the future for all concerned. 

We can help you assess the true value of your business interests and advise you on the best ways to ringfence assets and income when you find your financial security and the business’s survival at risk.

The fair and equitable distribution of the matrimonial assets involved in your divorce will always be our goal, ensuring your future income and business interest will be protected in the best possible way.

Our local offices in Hoddesdon and Broxbourne enable us to work with clients across Hertfordshire, including a growing number of clients across England, Wales and abroad.

Our family law team will be happy to speak with you by phone, email or videoconferencing, to discuss any matter of concern relating to divorce and business assets.

For a friendly, informal discussion about how our family and divorce lawyers can help you with divorce and family businesses, please get in touch:

How we can help you with the division of family businesses in divorce

A family business will be treated as a matrimonial asset when it comes to divorce, making it an important consideration in your financial settlement. Often, they are the most valuable asset built up during a marriage, which makes dividing them in divorce extremely tricky – especially where one spouse has more interests and assets in the business than the other.

If you have inherited your business, incorporated it prior to getting married, or you feel you have invested greater effort, you may wish to retain control of your business and avoid your ex having an interest. On the other hand, you may feel entitled to half the business assets as the main source of family income, having given up a career or taken career breaks to raise a family.

Wherever you stand, our expert team of divorce lawyers at Braddon & Snow can advise you on this complex area of law, helping you achieve a fair and equitable division of your matrimonial business assets, so you have equal share of the risk and rewards involved.

Our specialist team of experts have wide experience in helping separating couples agree on the best way of splitting a family business in divorce. We will ensure you understand your rights and options, highlighting the benefits and risks associated with retaining business interests.

We can help you with careful appraisal of your business assets to determine whether they will be treated as joint matrimonial assets in your divorce or not. We can assist with getting your business valued so you can take into proper consideration the potential impact a drop in value could have compared with less risky non-company assets such as property and savings.

We will ensure you understand your options so you can work out what will be in your best interest. Whether that is retaining your business or dividing other assets, like cash and property in lump sums, we can help you sever the business ties for a clean break from your ex once your divorce is finalised.

With specialist expertise in constructive negotiation, we can assist in resolving most disputes with mediation as an effective tool for managing tension, resentment and animosity that can arise over conflicting interests in a family business - helping you avoid contentious divorce proceedings.

Where court action is required to secure a fair settlement, our divorce lawyers will be by your side, every step of the way, giving you all the legal support you need and making the process as easy as possible for you.

Find out more about how we can help you with Divorce, Separation & Finances.

Our divorce settlement pricing

The costs involved will depend entirely on the difficulty and complexity of your case, which will be reflected in the level of work that will be required. An initial appointment of £75.00 plus VAT will offer the opportunity for you to discuss your matter with our family lawyer, who can advise you of the costs of your case.

As a member of Resolution, our family law specialist at Braddon & Snow demonstrates a keen commitment to constructive, non-confrontational methods of helping clients through divorce and financial settlement, avoiding the unnecessary conflict that can end in court proceedings.

Some aspects of divorce proceedings can be handled on a fixed fee basis, including completing and filing the divorce petition and applications to court for a Consent Order.

Hourly rates for divorce settlement advice

Hourly rates can be agreed upon in the event your case becomes more complex and time-consuming. A realistic cost estimate will be provided, at the outset, along with regular updates throughout on how your case is progressing and how your costs are accruing. This will give you the confidence and peace of mind about managing and controlling the costs involved in your case.

Division of family businesses in divorce FAQs

What happens to a family business in divorce?

There is no fixed formula on how a family business will be dealt with in divorce. However, in the UK, a family business is considered a joint matrimonial asset. Each business will be considered on a case by case basis since they are not liquid assets. Having capital value and being a vehicle for generating income, they will not be treated in the same way as savings or other investments.

Where a business is inherited or incorporated before marriage, there may be a case for protecting a portion of the business from potential claims being made by the other spouse – which will be subject to their needs being fairly met from other joint assets in the matrimonial pot.

How are family businesses divided in divorce?

Typically, the court will aim to keep the business in the hands of the business owner where there are other assets like savings and investments that can be awarded to the other spouse either by lump sum or by maintenance payments.

In some cases, income or shares may be split so that both parties are adequately provided for on an equal basis.

What factors are considered when deciding what happens to a business in divorce?

There are many factors that need to be taken into account when considering how a business will be treated in divorce. Income and earning capacity, contributions and the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage will be taken into consideration as well as other factors relevant to achieving a fair financial settlement, including:

  • How the business was acquired (was it inherited, for example?)
  • When the business was incorporated (before or during the marriage)
  • Who owns the business (allocation of shares)
  • Who is involved in running the business (investing greater time and effort)
  • Salary and dividend income
  • Company pensions
  • The property and assets owned by the business
  • Divestment potential from the business
  • Borrowing potential from the business

Speak with our division of family businesses in divorce solicitors in Hoddesdon & Broxbourne

For advice about how a family business will be dealt with in divorce or on how best to protect your business interests, please get in touch with our friendly team of family lawyers:

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