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Closely held business considerations in a New Jersey divorce

There’s almost no question that a family business is going to loom large in a New Jersey divorce.

After all, it has been a cornerstone asset during marriage, and perhaps even predated it, being established by one spouse while still single. What will now happen to it?

That depends.

Actually, the fate of a business in divorce might hinge on multiple factors that we spotlight on a divorce-and-business page of our family law website at the Somerville Law Office of Rajeh A. Saadeh. Those factors can be underscored in question-posed form, as follows:

  • Was the business a one-person effort or participated in by both spouses?
  • Was the enterprise established before or after marriage?
  • Has the business been supported solely by the separate assets of one spouse, or has marital income also been used in its operations?
  • Are there legal agreements in force (for example, a prenuptial agreement or buy-out contract) that address business ownership, future operations, dissolution and other key concerns?

Those above considerations only partially denote matters that can be relevant to a judicial determination of how a business will be treated in a divorce. Great complexity can obviously attach to concerns involving operations, separate-versus-marital contributions, valuation, equitable sharing and other issues. For obvious reasons, and as we duly note on our website, “A closely held business can be a lightning rod in divorce.”

Questions or concerns regarding business assets, valuation and related matters can be directed to a divorce attorney with a deep well of experience protecting both family enterprises and spousal interest in those entities.

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