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How are business assets divided in an Alabama divorce?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Divorce |

Dividing business assets in an Alabama divorce involves several complex steps and considerations, which impact both parties’ financial futures.

It is helpful to understand how courts handle business assets during a divorce in Alabama.

Identifying whether the business is marital property

The first step is to determine whether the business qualifies as marital property. In Alabama, marital property includes all assets and debts accumulated by the couple during their marriage. If one spouse owned the business before the marriage, it might still be partially marital property if the business’s value increased during the marriage or if both spouses contributed to its growth.

Valuing the business

Once the court identifies the business as marital property, it must establish its current value. This process usually requires hiring a professional business appraiser. The appraiser considers various factors, including the business’s earnings, market conditions and assets. This valuation ensures that the division process is fair and based on accurate, up-to-date information.

Deciding on the division method

The court has several options for dividing business assets. These options include:

  • Allocating shares: The court might assign each spouse a percentage of the business.
  • Buying out: One spouse may buy out the other’s share. This arrangement is common if one spouse wishes to continue running the business.
  • Selling the business: If neither spouse wants to maintain the business or if they cannot agree on its value, the court may order the business to be sold and the proceeds divided.

The chosen method depends on factors like each spouse’s attachment to the business, their roles in its operation and their future financial needs.

Considering tax implications

Dividing a business can have significant tax implications. It is helpful to understand how these implications affect each spouse’s financial situation post-divorce. A financial advisor or a tax professional can provide guidance in this area.

Finalizing the division

The court’s decision on how to divide the business assets will be part of the divorce decree. Both parties must adhere to this decree, and any disputes might require further legal action.

The division of business assets in an Alabama divorce is a detailed and legally intensive process that requires careful planning and evaluation. This can enable both spouses to safeguard their financial futures and make a fresh start following the divorce.