You and your spouse are going through a divorce, and you’re also running your business. That business has been doing very well since the two of you got married and it has doubled in size.
You consider this something that you did all on your own and it would have happened whether or not you were married. Your spouse doesn’t work for you, after all, and you don’t think they had any impact. However, they claim that they should get a portion of your increased wealth due to the growth of the business. Can they make this claim?
It depends on the specifics of the situation
There’s no answer that will fit all cases, but it is worth pointing out that there are some instances in which your spouse can make this claim and it may be valid. This is especially likely if you started the business after you got married, rather than getting married as a business owner – in which case it would be separate property.
Your spouse may be able to claim that they supported you in other ways so that you could work on the business. Maybe they let you put the family’s income back into the company. Maybe they helped raise your children, essentially on their own, so that you could be at work. They can claim that they impacted the growth of your business, even if you don’t feel that they were directly involved.
This is why it’s important for business owners to understand the value of their property and the things they can do to protect it during a divorce. You do have options, and you certainly want to know what they are, especially if the business is the most valuable asset that you own and something you certainly want to retain.