Getting a North Carolina divorce is a difficult decision to make. In most scenarios, it boils down to emotions and feelings, and while it may make “logical sense” to stay together, the actuality of that happening is nearly impossible. When you decide to get a divorce, there is a lot of grey areas. And, if you are a business owner, you may be even more confused as to what to do.
If you have a valid North Carolina prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement, your business may be protected. If it considers your business as your own property, you may be granted the full asset in the divorce. However, if you do not have a postnuptial agreement or a prenuptial agreement, the business is likely to be considered an asset that will be divided in the divorce. Here is more information about what will happen if you do not have a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement.
According to North Carolina Law, all property that was obtained while you were married is going to be divided evenly (equitable distribution) during the divorce. With this being said, in most cases, all property that was owned or obtained before your divorce is considered your own separate property. For more information about equitable distribution, see N.C. Gen. Stat. 50-20.
In some cases, one spouse will own a business before getting married and then after the marriage, the spouse will start working at the other spouse’s business. In this situation, a portion of the business may be considered the 1st spouse’s (the original owner). The other portion of the business could be considered marital property and would therefore be subject to equitable distribution. The spouse (that started working at the other spouse’s business), would then be entitled to 1/2 of the increased value of the business starting from the date of the marriage through separation. If there is no increased value, there is nothing owed.
The spouses have the ability to choose & agree on how they want to divide the business. One could keep ownership and buy out the other spouse. So if you and your spouse owned a business worth 1 million dollars, that was created during the marriage, you could buy out your spouse for $500,000.
If neither spouse wants to sell their share, the spouses may agree to continue to run the business together.
Or, the last option is to sell the business altogether and split the money made on the sale.
When spouses cannot agree on how to split the business, the court will make the decision and split it using equitable distribution.
During these tough decisions and process, it is important that you have a Raleigh lawyer on your side. Your divorce may be difficult enough that you want a lawyer by you that can tell you all of your options and help you make the best decisions for your individual needs. Whether you need help navigating the divorce and litigation process or you are ready to mediate your divorce, the Raleigh attorneys at The Law Corner are experienced and ready to help. For more information, contact The Law Corner today at 919-424-8319.