Divorce and Your Family Business

A woman looking a paperwork with her lawyers

A family business is a labor of love and the representation of an American ideal that hard work will one day lead to prosperity and financial independence. So when couples divorce, a family business can be an incredible source of contention, not only because it is likely their most valuable asset, but also for the emotional investment each spouse has made toward the business.

Nevada is a Community Property State

In Nevada, marital property is usually divided equally between spouses when they divorce—based on a principle called “community property”. Essentially, the fair market value of all property earned, acquired, or created during a marriage is subject to an equal split between spouses. Property that a spouse brought into a marriage is considered “separate property” and is typically not subject to division when a couple divorces. Similarly, gifts, inheritances, and some personal injury damages are usually deemed separate property, regardless of when they are acquired.

Is the Family Business Marital Property?

If a family business was started during a marriage, then it is generally fair game as marital property subject to division when the marriage ends. An exception to this may be the degree to which separate property—such as an inheritance or other assets that one spouse brought into a marriage—were used to create the enterprise.

Also, even if a business existed before marriage, it may not be entirely separate property, as the court can consider whether:

  • Marital property or the other spouse’s separate property was used or co-mingled for the creation or continued operations of the business.
  • Either spouse made contributions that added value to the business during marriage.

Our firm works with respected experts to properly appraise any family business, analyze the equity that each spouse has put in, and assess how (or if) it should be divided. Further, we will look at your financial circumstances and listen to your goals in helping you navigate your options with the business moving forward.

Contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. is a full-service law firm that provides family law representation. If you are heading for a divorce and have a family business or business interests, you need to speak with an attorney. Our attorneys are experienced, knowledgeable, and proven. You have critical financial and legal interests at stake, and we will help you fully exercise your rights. Let us help you. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a consultation or contact our office through our website.

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