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What happens to the business when couples split?

Wisconsin couples who are considering a divorce will have many issues to sort through. If one or both spouses own a business, the decisions they make regarding it might have long-term consequences that affect not just their lives but also their business partners, their employees and, potentially, their clients.

There are several things that can happen when a business owner gets a divorce. They might have to split the business with their ex, buy out their ex or even lose the business completely. For business owners who have partners, the situation might be more complicated because a divorce might mean the partners having to take on that ex-spouse as a new partner or finding the funds to buy out that ex to keep them from becoming part of the business. A buy-sell order establishing how this would be handled if the case arises might provide some comfort, but in the end, buy-sell orders must be determined fair for both parties by the court during the divorce process.

If the couple co-owns a business, they have several ways to handle it. Some couples choose to continue co-owning that business. Some couples, however, choose to completely separate their assets, which means that they might sell the business and split the profits, or one spouse could buy out the other. In some cases, the ex-spouses might negotiate with one keeping the business and the other taking the family home or another asset.

Each divorcing couple has a unique situation that will dictate how they handle their assets in the split. A lawyer with family law experience may explain their options and the possible consequences when dividing their assets. The lawyer may also represent their client in the divorce settlement negotiations and during court appearances.

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