You may not have anticipated either of these things happening to you: your business works its way into success and becomes one of your biggest assets, and your marriage begins to unravel. This can put you in danger of losing your business.

Asset division and your business

In North Carolina, the assets are classified as either marital, divisible or separate property. If you are wondering where your privately held business will fall, consider when it was created or when you became the owner. If the business started before your marriage, at least part of the business could be considered your separate property. If it was created during your marriage, it is likely to be considered marital property and subject to being divided between you and your spouse.

Your options in keeping your business

The best way to begin protecting your business during a divorce is to get an attorney you trust. Since every situation is unique, it is important to work with a professional who can look at your specific business and help you understand how best to handle it during your divorce.

If your spouse is involved in your business, things can be difficult to sort out. Here are a few options to consider.

First, you can think about staying in business together after your marriage ends. Though it can be difficult, if you have a good professional relationship and both are still committed to the business, it may be possible.

You can also buy your spouse out of the business.  Determining the proper payout amount must be determined by looking not only at the value of the business but the value of all other assets that you have acquired during your marriage.

In some cases, you and your lawyer can negotiate with other assets to make sure that you keep your business without having to make a substantial payment. Your spouse may be willing to give up their claim if you give them other assets like the house or car.

If you decide to let your business go, you can also sell it or allow your spouse to buy you out. However, you and your lawyer may be able to fight to keep what you have built. The division of a business is complicated and you should always consult a skilled North Carolina family lawyer to best advise you how to move forward if you are a business owner facing a divorce.