Pasadena Divorce for Business Owners

Pasadena Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be a very challenging and life-changing experience, and every divorce case will unfold uniquely. While any couple is likely to encounter significant challenges when it comes to completing divorce proceedings, divorce business owners face especially difficult family court proceedings. Dividing business assets is never easy, and splitting a family-owned business can be incredibly difficult for all parties involved.

If you are ending your marriage in the Pasadena, CA area and own a business, you may need to prepare for difficult property division proceedings as your divorce unfolds. Depending on your spouse’s level of involvement in the business when you started and any contributions they made toward your business’s growth and success, you could face a very difficult divorce due to the complex issues that division of business assets often raises.

Attorney Patricia Rigdon has extensive experience representing clients in Pasadena, CA in a wide range of difficult divorce cases. Our team understands that your business is likely the cornerstone of your livelihood, and it’s natural to have concerns about how your divorce will affect your business and vice versa. We can provide the meticulous legal support you need to navigate your divorce successfully. We have successfully represented many Pasadena divorces for business owners and can apply this experience to your case.

What to Expect in Pasadena Divorce for Business Owners

A divorce in California is a multifaceted legal process that requires the divorcing couple to establish separate property ownership rights over their respective shares of their community property, or the property they acquired and assets they earned during marriage. They must also divide responsibility for shared debts. If they have children, they must settle custody and child support. Ultimately, even a seemingly straightforward divorce can raise very difficult legal questions. This is especially true when one or both spouses own business assets. Your Pasadena divorce attorney can make a significant difference in the quality of your experience with the divorce process in California. You can rely on your attorney to provide detailed guidance as you navigate the various stages of your case, from filing your divorce petition to resolving your divorce terms through the court system. You can also take advantage of alternative dispute resolution with your attorney’s assistance. Many business owners who divorce in California learn that mediation and collaborative divorce typically yield much more agreeable results than a litigated ruling delivered by a judge. When divorcing spouses are unable to reach mutually agreeable terms in alternative dispute resolution, a judge must make the final determinations regarding the various elements of their divorce. This can be distressing in some cases, as most family court judges will seek to adhere to state law as closely as possible and may lack the personal understanding of the dynamics in play within the marriage and the business in question. It is typically best to resolve as much of your divorce as you can privately before proceeding to litigation.

Is a Business Considered a Marital Property?

California enforces a community property rule regarding division of marital property in divorce. This means that all income and assets acquired by both spouses during their marriage qualifies as community property. If you built your business during your marriage, the business likely qualifies as community property under California law. Even if your spouse was detached from the business, the court will interpret any contributions toward your marriage and household from your spouse as contributions toward your business by extension.

If you owned your business prior to marrying, you will likely be allowed to retain ownership over the business in divorce. This is also true if you inherited a family business from your parents. Inheritance qualifies as separate property under California’s divorce law. In all other situations, your spouse is likely entitled to half the business’s assets as well as compensation for future growth. The revenue your business generated during your marriage technically qualifies as community property, and your divorce would bar your spouse from enjoying your business’s valuation any further. Whether your business qualifies as community property or your separate property comes down to various factors that fluctuate from case to case.

How Can I Resolve Divorce as a Business Owner?

One of the best ways to streamline your divorce proceedings and protect your business assets from your divorce is by taking advantage of alternative dispute resolution. Think of alternative dispute resolution as private settlement negotiations for divorce. Instead of allowing a judge to have the final say on every aspect of your dissolution proceedings, you and your spouse can meet privately to negotiate your divorce terms. When you and your spouse do so with your respective attorneys, this is collaborative divorce. When you have a neutral third party mediate your negotiations, this is divorce mediation.

When your spouse is entitled to half of the business’s assets, you may be able to resolve this issue in mediation through a buyout. If you are both equal stakeholders, one of you could essentially sell your half of the business to the other, allowing them to assume sole ownership of the business. If business assets are divided, both spouses must understand that this will also mean division of the business’s debts and liabilities.

Benefits of Legal Representation for Divorcing Pasadena Business Owners

Running a business is very difficult, and your divorce is likely to impact your business in multiple ways. It can be difficult to determine whether your business qualifies as separate or community property and how your divorce proceedings will unfold. If you have taken steps to “divorce-proof” your business in the past, these measures will prove to have been well worth the effort when it comes time to resolve your divorce. Ultimately, any business owner in Pasadena is likely to have many questions regarding their divorce proceedings and how their divorce is likely to influence their business. The Law Offices of Patricia Rigdon can provide the guidance and support you need to handle the most challenging divorce cases. If you are preparing to end your marriage in Pasadena, CA and are worried about the future of your business, we can help. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with our team and learn more about our family law services.