Ending your marriage is painful enough as it is. Alimony payments can weigh you down, parenting agreements can be difficult to settle on, and timetable for divorce is often frustratingly long. However, just as mediation can quell these conflicts, it’s just as effective when a family business is involved.
If you’re splitting a family business in the midst of a divorce, litigation may not be the best route. Get familiar with divorce mediation as an alternative when family businesses are involved, rather than taking your matters to family court.
The Complications of Litigation
Litigating your family business division during a divorce has two notable downsides: timing, and the court’s minimal knowledge of your company. Since the court has its own schedule, you may have to wait awhile for a hearing – and if your business is highly seasonal, the court’s chosen schedule could potentially disrupt your operations and subsequent revenue. The timeline only gets longer if you choose to buy out your spouse’s interest in the company, which requires further calculations, negotiations, and analysis. And with your business still running in the background, you have no time to waste.
Furthermore, a family court judge may intervene, which often does more harm than good. They’ll step in to either preserve your company for its future separation, or to keep one spouse from using the business for their own means. While this seems acceptable, the court’s good intentions aren’t necessarily informed.
Don’t Risk an Uninformed Decision
Your judge likely isn’t an expert on your industry or specific family business, meaning their decision could end up harming your business rather than preserving it. They could choose to split the business 50/50, which is often the default decision, but what if you’ve pulled most of the weight? Things get even more complicated in “buy-out” situations, as we mentioned above. For these reasons, we suggest divorce mediation as an alternative when family businesses are involved.
How Divorce Mediation Can Help
There’s a major downside to litigating family business matters during divorce: the court doesn’t know your business. Family court judges are, by no means, experts in small or family businesses with longstanding policies and processes. For the most part, you and your spouse are likely the only people who truly know your business front and back, rendering you a more qualified decision-maker than a family court judge.
Settling on a decision through divorce mediation will ensure that your divorce has minimal impact on your business thanks to shorter timetables, lower attorney fees, and the absence of a judge’s final decision. Your chosen mediator can also help out with dividing your family business, whether you’re splitting the entirety of your company or buying your spouse out of their share. In short, mediation takes into account all the nuances of your divorce and your family business, as opposed to litigation which rarely considers your unique relationship and operations.
If you’re divorcing and dividing a family business, you’ll want to keep timetables short to minimize any impact on your operations. It’s also important that the court doesn’t make an uninformed decision. Rather than risking these outcomes with litigation, consider divorce mediation as an alternative when family businesses are involved.
Mission Viejo Divorce Attorney for Family Business Division
Divorce is an emotional journey to endure. On top of the bitterness and anger which often result from a formal separation, the subsequent legal battles tend to make the whole process even more painful. At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction, so that they can finally move on to their next chapter. We can help with that. No matter your desired path – divorce mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services or contact us online for a free consultation.