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Business ownership can add complexity to divorce

Women frequently face challenges during a divorce; for women in Arizona who own a business, there may be particular concerns concerning the future of their enterprises. Entrepreneurs heading for divorce should fully understand the value of their companies, whether it is owned as a sole proprietorship or as a joint venture with their former spouse.

The business may be one of the most significant assets to arise in asset division during the divorce. If the business itself is included in the divorce settlement, it is important to have a clear understanding of its value, growth potential, liabilities and debts. In addition, one spouse may buy out the other from a jointly owned business; understanding proper valuation can help to set the correct price for this type of agreement.

Before divorce negotiations begin, it is essential to know the accurate value of any business interests held by the partners. Receiving professional assistance from a forensic accountant or business appraiser may be helpful in developing a correct valuation. This can help to deal with the business as a financial asset rather than as a matter of personal connection to the company and its success. Beyond the value of the business itself, including its liabilities and its future contracts, a business can own property like real estate, as well as mobile goods like computers, inventory and other equipment. Intangibles, such as the value of the business' name and reputation, can also be considered in generating the market worth of a company.

Separating a business can be a particularly challenging part of the end of a marriage, especially in the case of successful, high-value projects. A family law attorney may represent an entrepreneurial spouse and protect their interests in court. A family lawyer may also be able to provide advice concerning general matters of property division, child custody and other contested matters when entering into a divorce settlement.

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