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Divorcing when a business is involved in Illinois

If an Illinois resident is contemplating a divorce and a business is involved, it can make the process more complicated. This is because even if one of the spouses owned the business before the marriage, it does not mean that it is not a marital asset. The value of a business will likely grow over the course of a marriage, and that increase is often considered marital property.

In many cases, both spouses are involved in a business, even if only one individual is considered the owner. If both spouses work at the business, the spouse that is granted ownership cannot just fire the ex-spouse after the divorce is completed. Doing so may put the owner of the business in danger of a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

Another reason that divorce involving a business can be complicated is because a company is not always a liquid asset, and selling interests in a business could prevent it from being profitable in the future. Therefore, one spouse may end up keeping a business, and the other spouse may be given some form of ownership interest. Alternatively, the spouse that does not get the business may be awarded other marital assets to compensate.

Each divorce is unique, and each party will usually have a different interest in the outcome. Additionally, since many assets require a valuation and may also have ongoing costs, such as homes that also require mortgage payments and upkeep, it is difficult to split things down the middle, even if that is a couple’s desire. A divorcing spouse may thus want to have the assistance of an attorney when negotiating a property division settlement agreement that involves business assets.