If you and your spouse decide to divorce, you have a journey ahead of you.
Few people who have gone through the process would describe it as easy, but it’s fair to say that it’s more complicated in some cases than it is in others.
One factor that can make a divorce particularly complex is ownership of a business.
Before filing for divorce, you must check to see if you fit the residency requirements. At least one of you – you or your spouse – must have been a resident of Virginia for at least six months. If you meet this requirement, you or your spouse can file a petition for divorce with the court and serve a copy of the divorce petition to the other spouse.
The spouse who receives the petition will have time to respond and may request a temporary decision from the court about child custody, child support and spousal support while the divorce is pending. You must exchange information with each other, including financial accounts and details about your property.
The goal is to ensure that marital property is divided equitably, meaning fairly, between you and your spouse. Once you have reached an agreement, either through mediation or through a court hearing, the court will issue a final divorce decree which makes the divorce permanent.
If you share a business, it may be necessary to hire a business valuation expert who can determine the value of the business. This person will review the business’s financial statements, tax returns and other information to determine its fair market value.
If you decide to keep the business, you may have to buy out your spouse’s share. In other situations, you and your spouse may be able to continue to run the business together after you are divorced and share the proceeds.