PLEASE NOTE: For the safety of everyone, in response to the threats of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we offer our clients the ability to meet with us via telephone or video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.
View Our Practice Areas

Property division is complex when one spouse owns a business

When you and your spouse married, you may have known little about his or her business. However, you took a keen interest and learned whatever you could, even if only to participate in conversations at the dinner table. Throughout your marriage, your spouse's business may have been the primary means of support for your family. Now that you are approaching divorce, you may wonder how that business and its appreciation will play out in property division.

Your spouse may indicate that the business is not on the table. However, the law may say otherwise. Unless your spouse took careful precautions to protect the business from asset division, you may have a right to your fair share of its worth

Did your spouse keep it separate?

If your spouse did not ask you to sign a prenuptial agreement, he or she missed an important opportunity to keep the Texas divorce court from seeing the business as marital property. With a prenuptial agreement, many business owners define the ownership of their companies as separate from joint assets. Even if your spouse began the business before your marriage, you may be entitled to half of its appreciation since your wedding day unless a premarital contract stipulates otherwise.

Additionally, if you contributed in any way to the business, you may have earned a share in its profits. For example, if you can demonstrate that you helped with bookkeeping on the weekends, filled in for absent employees or contributed financially to the company's success, your chances of benefiting from it during asset division improve. If your spouse failed to keep your personal finances separate from the business records, you may have a case for claiming the business is also marital property.

What's it worth?

It is possible that your motives in seeking a share of the business in property division are simply to obtain your fair half so that you can build a new life after your divorce. You may not intend to see the business sold and your spouse's business closed in order to accomplish that.

If this is the case, you may be able to negotiate with other assets. For example, in exchange for your share in the business, you may accept cash or some other asset of a similar value. In either case, you and your spouse will have to come to an agreement about the value of the business. You can do this privately together or hire professional valuators, but the advice of an attorney will help ensure you receive your fair portion of marital property.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Board Certificate

Hurst Location
669 Airport Freeway
Suite 307
Hurst, TX 76053

Phone: 817-576-1023
Fax: 817-282-0634
Hurst Law Office Map

Galveston County Location
3210 Hwy. 3
Suite B
Dickinson, TX 77539

Phone: 817-576-1023
Phone: 409-392-1511
Fax: 817-282-0634
Map & Directions