If you are a business owner here in New Jersey, you most likely take great pride in your business and would do anything to protect it. If you are currently going through the divorce process, you are most likely very worried about the future of your business. Please continue reading and speak with our New Jersey divorce attorneys to learn more about business owner divorce and how we can help you. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Are businesses subject to equitable distribution in divorce?

There are two types of property in a divorce: marital property and separate property. Essentially, marital property involves all property obtained during the course of a marriage, such as a home, cars, etc. Separate property involves property obtained outside of or prior to marriage. In most cases, marital property is subject to equitable distribution, while separate property is not. That being said, businesses are often considered marital property, in which case there is a very good chance that your spouse will be entitled to a portion of your business, even if he or she played little or no role in founding or running the business. For this reason, if you are a business owner, it is critical that you retain the services of a knowledgeable Rumson divorce lawyer who can fight for what is rightfully yours.

How are businesses valued in a divorce?

Before a business is subject to equitable distribution, it will have to be valued. Oftentimes, financial analysts and other experts will have to assess various aspects of a business, such as its revenue, its debts and liabilities, and more, before they can assign a value to a business for equitable distribution. In this phase, it is critical that you fully disclose all financial information regarding your business, for if you fail to do so, any discrepancies may be reported to the IRS, which can drastically complicate matters.

Is there any way to protect my business from a divorce in New Jersey?

Fortunately, you can protect your business from a divorce. To start, if you are not yet married and you own a business, you may draft a prenuptial agreement, wherein you can specifically address what will happen with your business, should you ever get divorced. If you are already married, you may draft a postnuptial agreement, which essentially serves the same purpose, though these agreements are drafted exclusively after marriage. Finally, if you and your spouse both jointly own a business, you can draft a shareholder agreement, which outlines each spouse’s stock in the business should a divorce occur. For any further questions, give us a call today.


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in Rumson, Monmouth County, or anywhere in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.