Will your spouse get half of your business in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | Property Division

If you are getting divorced in California, one of the questions you may ask yourself is whether your spouse will get half of your business. In general, spouses are entitled to divide their community property equally. This includes any assets or debts acquired during the marriage. 

However, there may be some exceptions to this rule. For example, if one spouse owned a business prior to the marriage, that spouse may be able to keep the company after the divorce. 

When did you start your business?

Due to California’s community property laws, if the divorcing couple owns a business, then the value of it is generally divided between the spouses according to their respective ownership interests. 

But what happens when the company was started before the couple married? Is the other spouse entitled to half of that business?

In that case, the court will consider several factors, such as:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Contributions of each spouse to the business
  • Economic circumstances of each spouse
  • Any agreements between the spouses regarding the company, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement 

If one spouse started the business before the marriage, the court would typically give that spouse a greater share of the company. However, if both spouses contributed to the growth of the business during the marriage, the court may give each spouse an equal share. Ultimately, the court will decide based on what it believes is fair under all circumstances.

If you are concerned about the impact a divorce will have on your business, you should speak with someone who understands California’s community property laws. They can help you navigate the complicated divorce process and help protect your rights.