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Does my business qualify as marital property?

When divorce arrives on the scene of any marriage, it is not always easy to know where to draw the line between legitimately protecting your interests and treating your divorce fairly. This is particularly difficult for spouses who own a business. Unlike other assets, businesses often support many others outside of a marriage, so it is often very difficult to fairly divide a business as an asset without seriously affecting many other individuals, such as employees, vendors or customers.

If you do not know whether or not your business counts as marital property, it is wise to learn all you can about the laws that govern property division and divorce in Kentucky. Depending on when you assumed ownership in the business and your spouse's relationship to the business itself, you may have grounds to claim that the it is not marital property at all.

However, if you founded or gained ownership in the business during your marriage, and especially if your spouse assists in the business in some way, you may face difficulty keeping it off the negotiation table during your divorce. In some cases, a spouse may agree to keep it off the table to make the overall process easier and less complicated.

Still, most spouses are likely to want some form of compensation for their legal right to a portion of the value of the business. If you must address the business as a part of property division, you may need to offer your spouse other assets to keep the business intact. If you cannot afford to offer your spouse liquid assets in exchange for keeping the business intact, you may consider setting up an ongoing payment plan to allow the divorce to finalize and give you both the breathing room to move on to new seasons of life.

Source: FindLaw, "3 Ways to Protect Business Assets in Divorce," accessed Jan. 26, 2018

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