Some divorcing couples are surprised to find out that a business can be part of their marital estate – the property acquired during the course of the marriage that must be divided upon divorce. It can be especially surprising if the other spouse never worked at or “officially” contributed to the business. Thankfully, a skilled divorce lawyer can help you assess what the scope of your marital property is and what may be excluded. Mediation may also be a valuable tool in preserving a business during a divorce. Learn more with help from the following.
How Mediation Can Help
Mediation is a process that both spouses must agree to partake in. It takes place in front of a neutral third-party mediator who will evaluate the case, listen to each party’s concerns, and suggest solutions to the property division.
Both sides will have to sign off on the results of the mediation, so typically the agreements must be acceptable to both parties. Mediation allows the parties to have more control over the property division than in a courtroom setting, where both spouses will have to abide by the judge’s order.
In the context of dividing a business, a spouse may place priority on keeping the business after the divorce. If this is the case, a mediator can review the remainder of the property and determine what items would have an appropriate value to offset the value of the business.
It is important to note that marital property valuations – particularly those that involve a business – can be extremely complicated. Often, they require the use of experts to ensure that all parties feel comfortable with the final settlement amount.
The Need for Attorneys During Meditation
Family law mediators are not always attorneys. Also, mediators are not looking out for either party’s best interests. Rather, they seek to facilitate an amicable agreement.
It is imperative that you have your own attorney during the mediation process who will look out for you and can offer additional solutions. Those who opt for mediation typically do so because they want to avoid high-conflict divorce proceedings. Our attorney will be respectful of that wish and will ensure that you receive a fair deal.
Contact a Wheaton Property Division Lawyer
Abear Law Offices can help you determine the most appropriate path for your divorce. In some situations, we may even be able to protect your business throughout the process. Alternatively, if your spouse owns a business, we can fight to ensure you receive a full and fair settlement in your divorce. Schedule a personalized consultation with our Wheaton divorce attorney to learn more. Call 630-904-3033 today.