When business owners in Pennsylvania consider divorce, they may be particularly concerned about how the end of their marriage will affect the future of their business. After all, the economic effects of a divorce can last long after the emotional and practical concerns are resolved. This can be particularly true for entrepreneurs in smaller family businesses when the company itself is part of shared marital property and produces a significant amount of the couple's joint income. However, there are some things that business owners can keep in mind to help them emerge from the divorce process.
The future of the business can be a major part of the discussion and negotiations over property division. Because Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, even a business that is marital property will not necessarily be divided equally in half. At the same time, business owners should plan for how they can retain their business in challenging circumstances. There are several ways that people can handle this issue, including the other spouse taking a larger share of other marital property like retirement funds or real estate. This type of division essentially serves to buy out the other spouse.
In some cases, the business may be such a dominant presence in the couple's financial life that it is not possible to arrange a direct buyout with other assets. Some couples that are fully involved in running the firm may choose to retain co-ownership. However, others may structure the buyout by planning spousal support payments on an ongoing basis for the other spouse's share of the company.
Business owners thinking about divorce may have a wide range of unique worries about their financial future. A family law attorney might work with a divorcing spouse to negotiate a fair settlement on property division, spousal support and other key matters.