Divorce is always a difficult time, regardless of how quickly both spouses come to a resolution. The emotional turmoil at the end of a relationship is difficult enough to work through, but the additional hassle of property division makes the process more complex. Marriages that involve a family business can lead to difficult decisions and asset valuations, which require the assistance of experienced divorce attorneys.
The dissolution of marriage in Arizona is straightforward and often begins with a Petition served on the other spouse. During this time, a spouse may order a Preliminary Injunction to preserve property interests and prevent the other spouse from liquidating property of the marital estate or giving it away. Divorce becomes more complicated in situations involving children or in situations involving business assets. In order to qualify to receive a divorce under Arizona law, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 90 days.
Arizona is a community property state which means that nearly every piece of property acquired during the marriage by one spouse is property of the marital estate, subject to division during a divorce. Property acquired before or after the marriage is not subject to division during a divorce. Community property includes real estate, debt, pension, retirement accounts, and other tangible personal property. Both spouses will be recognized by the court as being equal contributors to the property throughout the marriage, even if one spouse did not work during the marriage. The Preliminary Injunction that is often issued in the beginning of divorce proceedings will prevent one spouse from the sale, destruction, or transfer of property, including business assets, throughout the divorce proceedings.
The division of business assets becomes more complicated depending on the business organization. A court will consider the “goodwill” of the business itself, as well as the valuation of its current assets. While one spouse is typically the owner or the lead shareholder of the business, the other spouse is entitled to half the compensation or return rate on investment of the business. Determining the market value of a business can be complicated. Unlike real estate or other tangible personal property, businesses often do not have a set dollar amount and an expert must be consulted to come to a conclusion. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who has had prior experience in dividing up business assets during a divorce.
If you are in the process of going through a divorce that involves a business, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Viles Law Firm. Our firm has handled over 1,000 family law cases and will work closely with you to ensure you receive the business assets you deserve. Our firm focuses exclusively on family law cases and understands how difficult divorce proceedings can become over time. We will work tirelessly for a quick resolution of any issues involving the division of business assets to ensure that your business continues without further interruption. Contact our Phoenix, Arizona office today for your initial free consultation.