When Your Spouse Owns a Business: Divorce Tips for the Homemaker

If your spouse owns a business, you will likely be entitled to a portion of the assets. A homemaker's stake in a business is an important consideration and point of leverage in the midst of a divorce.

Homemakers (aka home keepers, family managers, and home engineers) who stayed at home during their partnerships to tend to the children and home duties have a considerably challenging road ahead of them after the divorce.

They will have a lot of financial issues to address and figure out how to make ends without their ex’s income.  Business assets and spousal support are pivotal aspects of your divorce that you’ll want to review with your attorney.

What Happens to Your Spouse’s Business During the Divorce?

If your spouse owns a business, you should have a stake in it. How the business will be handled during the divorce depends on several factors.

Standard options include the following.

  • He or she buys you out, giving you your fair share of the value of the business which can be arranged as a lump sum or in payments.
  • You can arrange for an exchange, such as he keeps the business, and you keep the house or get a larger portion of the retirement account.
  • Sell it and split the profits.

Tips for Divorcing Homemakers

Fear of being able to provide for yourself and your children when you have little to no work or education history can be downright terrifying. But rest assure, there are resources and support available; you can do it. Millions of women have walked in your shoes and successfully reached the other side of the tunnel. Here are a few tips that might help.

  • You can request spousal support. To improve your chances of securing support, hire an attorney that’s determined and fervent, and that has a successful background in winning alimony for clients.
  • Your lack of work history or education can work in your favor when requesting alimony. The judge will factor these things into consideration when determining spousal support.
  • Your ex launched the business after your marriage; it’s considered marital property, which means it’s subject to equitable distribution. However, even if your husband owned the business prior to your marriage, you will usually still be entitled to a portion of the value of the growth of the company since your marriage.
  • For example, if the company was valued at $100,000 when you got married and it’s now worth $150,000, you may be entitled to half of the $50,000 appreciation, or $25,000.
  • You might have access to public assistance programs until you can get on your own feet. To learn more, you can contact the Bellevue Department of Social & Health Services at 877-501-2233.

For help from a Belleve divorce attorney that handles asset division and spousal support in Washington, call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny at 425-460-0550 for a consultation.

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny