Dealing with Divorce and the Family Business

Here at Lees, we have been dealing with divorce for the last 40 years and between us we have over 75 years’ experience dealing with divorce and family businesses.

Family businesses, or businesses that one party holds a significant shareholding in, are often discussed as part of divorce and finance proceedings. It is very important that the right legal advice is sought whenever a business is involved in a settlement.

In order for Lees to provide you with specialist tailored advice, we would need full disclosure regarding the business.  Information such as how it came to be, how long the business has been trading and profits.  In some instances we may need to get a formal valuation of the business.

The business will be need to be discussed so we understand how much time and hard work goes into running a business.  That is why we offer a specialist service to make sure the division of the business interests are reasonable and fair.

The main questions we are faced with are;

  1. Will the business need to be sold?
  2. Can I still obtain a clean break order?

It is often difficult to reach a settlement when funds are tied up within a business and therefore a clean break order is more difficult to achieve in certain cases.  In the past, Courts tended to be reluctant to break up a business in order to give the other spouse their share, however this attitude is changing.  An important point to consider is the value of the business, and if both spouses cannot agree on this, then a formal valuation may need to be sought.  This can be achieved by a joint instruction to an independent expert.  Further to this, the accounts for the company will also need to be considered by either the company accountant, or an independent expert.

If the business does need to be sold, then it is important to consider how and when and to give the spouse every opportunity to raise funds to buy out the other person’s share, if at all possible, as an alternative. There is no standard answers that we can give you as each case is different and assessed on the merits alone and therefore it is important you seek the right legal advice.

In some circumstances, however, it not appropriate to sell the business and this is dependent on many factors, such as value, nature of the business, how it was set up and the details of the business.  Each case is very individual and therefore it is important that you know your options from the beginning.

How we can help you

Here at Lees, we will always act in your best interests to achieve a settlement throughout the process.  From the first meeting we will be able to offer you tailored advice regarding mediation if appropriate and the process of Court proceedings if required.

We have dealt with business that have recently been set up to ones with millions of pounds turnover. For further information on our services and a confidential discussion please contact us on 0151 647 9381.

 

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