When business owners divorce, there are usually complex questions about proper valuation and equitable distribution of business assets. At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., our exceptional Denver business owner’s divorce attorneys are known for their ability to protect the rights of business owners in divorce cases.
Led by renowned Denver family law attorney Cynthia L. Ciancio, our team of lawyers and paralegals has the resources and expertise to resolve the complex issues facing business owners in divorce. Our Denver business owner’s divorce lawyers represent men and women throughout Colorado, including Denver and Broomfield.
Protecting Your Legal and Financial Interests
If your assets include a business, either family-owned or a business you began prior to your marriage, it is of the utmost importance to obtain a fair evaluation of your business and related assets. Our Denver divorce lawyers work with a variety of professional experts, including appraisers, business valuators and accountants.
Our firm has expertise in a variety of fields, including business law, taxation, corporate law and securities law, allowing us to resolve all business and divorce-related issues in-house. By sharing our insight, skill and expertise on behalf of our clients, we are able to protect their legal and financial interests.
We understand the issues facing business owners in divorce who must reconcile the challenges and rewards of business ownership with the strain of a divorce. We are prepared to handle all possible courses of action, including selling a business, dissolving a business or crafting a property agreement that compensates a spouse for his or her contribution to the business.
Is Your Business Separate or Marital Property?
In Colorado, marital property is divided equitably (fairly, though not always equally) between two spouses if a divorce case goes to court. First, a couple has the chance to decide how they want to deal with a business between themselves. If they can reach an agreement, they are one step closer to having an uncontested divorce – where a judge signs off on the arrangement they want without a trial. If they can’t agree, the case goes to trial for a judge to decide the business division.
In a Colorado divorce case, a business is viewed as property owned by one or both spouses. If you wish to secure your business over time, you can qualify it as separate property – meaning you are the sole owner, and your spouse has no ownership rights. The best way to do this is by proving that you are the spouse that primarily owns and operates the business. Make sure only your name is on business contracts, cards and registration documents. The courts cannot allocate a business to a non-owner in a divorce.
A business is also separate property if you owned it before getting married or it was inherited by you as a family business. If the courts agree that a business is separate property, your spouse will not be given any part of business ownership or interest in the divorce. If your business is classified as marital or community property – such as if both of your names are listed as partners or business owners – a court will divide its interests according to what is equitable.
How Will the Courts Divide a Business in a Divorce?
If you and your spouse can’t agree, you will bring your divorce case to court and a judge will decide the fairest way to split the business. This is often an even split unless there is a compelling reason to give more than 50 percent of the business to one spouse. If you can prove that the business can’t continue without you, for example, you will most likely retain final control of the business and more than a 50 percent share.
How Can You Protect Your Business During a Divorce in Denver?
The best way to protect your business during divorce or legal separation is by hiring a Denver business owner’s divorce attorney to represent you. An attorney can help you and your ex-spouse reach a compromise and avoid a trial through mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution. An attorney can carefully review your options and choose the best way to handle your business interests. Your Denver business owner divorce lawyer can take all of the following steps for you to protect your business:
Hire an appraiser to accurately value your business using the market value of your assets, the current market and its cash flow. This will help you determine the best way to divide your business if it is classified as marital property.
Walk you through your various options moving forward, such as selling the business and splitting the returns, doing a buyout with your ex, remaining co-owners after the divorce, or trading the business for a piece of marital property worth approximately the same amount.
Help you with the tax implications and other impacts that divorce may have on your business, now and in the future. Our business litigation lawyers can help you with business ownership issues long after your divorce is finalized, as necessary.
You have many key issues to consider as a business owner going through a divorce in Colorado. These cases come with unique challenges and must be handled carefully. If you wish to protect your business as much as possible in a divorce or legal separation, trust Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. with your case. We will use our years of experience and consult with experts to minimize conflict, keep costs down and help you achieve your goals for the future.
Speak to an Experienced Business Owner Divorce Lawyer in Denver
Our Denver attorneys can answer your questions and guide you down the path toward an outcome that serves your personal and professional needs. Contact us to schedule a case evaluation.
Litigation is a journey. This is a journey we have taken with our clients a countless number of times. If you face the uncertainty, risk, fear, anger, or disbelief that comes with the prospect of going through a legal dispute, the law firm of Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. will help you through it.