Years ago when you and your spouse launched the family business, its possible demise through divorce never entered your thoughts.
However, the successful business you built does not have to end along with your marriage. Here are three options to consider.
Perform a buyout
Since its founding, you may have been wholly involved in the day-to-day operation of the business and the person most responsible for its success. If your spouse is less vested emotionally than you are in the business, you might initiate a buyout. If your spouse is amenable to this idea, you will first need to have an appraiser perform a valuation so as to arrive at the appropriate selling price. If you do not have the funds available for the buyout, consider offering like assets.
Put the business on the market
You and your spouse may agree to sell the business outright. The business would still survive but you would both split the profits and be free either to retire or start another business. Here again, you would need a valuation in order to determine the selling price.
Continue normal business operations
If you and your spouse believe you can continue to work together in a post-divorce environment, you might consider continuing your co-ownership. You would both retain your interest in the business, and you would not have to go to the expense of a valuation.
Property division ahead
Property division can become a complicated process, and business owners who divorce are often challenged by this part of the proceedings. As you end your marriage, consider your options carefully when the time comes to determine the fate of your family business.