Charleston Divorce Lawyer for Business Owners

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Erica Lord Law Group/

Charleston Business Divorce Attorney

Divorce is never an easy process. However, when you own a business with your spouse, separating your lives and assets can be even more complicated. Many businesses have gone under or changed hands because of a divorce.

If you are a business owner looking to get divorced, it is important to know that your business does not necessarily have to suffer because you are ending your marriage. Business asset divorces simply require a more experienced hand and strategic negotiation than a standard separation.

Finding an attorney to guide you through your Charleston divorce is complicated. It is important to find a firm that has direct business divorce experience. Though many attorneys have experience in divorce and family law, few have experience helping joint business owners separate their lives. Fortunately, the divorce attorneys at Erica Lord Law Group have extensive experience in business divorce law. No matter what your case may be, we can work with you to ensure that your family and your business come out of the divorce process as intact as possible.

Charleston Divorce Lawyer for Business Owners

Erica Lord Law Group: Your Charleston Divorce Attorney for Business Owners

Here at Erica Lord Law Group, we have a team of divorce lawyers who are highly experienced in business owner divorce. We understand the unique challenges that come with business ownership, especially during a divorce or separation. This understanding helps us to properly represent our clients during their divorce claims.

We are extremely protective of businesses of all kinds, so we work diligently to preserve your livelihood as this process progresses. We are tenacious in the courtroom, and we will not rest until your divorce negotiations are equitable. We represent clients of all kinds, and we feel confident that we can provide a family law attorney for your unique needs.

Why Is a Business Owner Divorce Unique?

Any couple going through the divorce process must divide their community property evenly. When the couple owns a business together, splitting assets becomes more complicated. The business could be an asset in some situations and shared property in others. The court must determine whether the business needs to be split or if one spouse will take ownership.

The business could be the sole income for the couple, or both could have a vested interest in its ongoing operations. To sell it and split the profits would be to take the livelihood away from one or both members of the marriage. At the same time, the business may have significant value, so to give it to only one spouse could make the asset distribution wildly uneven. There are complicated considerations during a business owner’s divorce that do not exist in standard divorce procedures.

Why Do I Need a Charleston Business Divorce Attorney?

Not all divorce lawyers have the skills and experience to practice divorces involving a business. If you are facing a divorce involving a business or company, whether it’s shared or not, you need to find a quality Charleston business divorce attorney. We understand the complexities of these cases, and our experience allows us to properly represent you in your case.

If you try to navigate a business divorce on your own, you are likely to lose a significant amount. Having an attorney ensures that you understand all of your options and feel empowered to do what’s best for you and your business. If you represent yourself, your spouse may end up getting more of the business than they deserve. You may even lose everything.

Options for a Business Divorce

The way your property will be distributed depends on several factors. The court will consider such questions as:

  • How many years have you been married?
  • Did you start the business before or during your marriage?
  • Did both spouses work in the business, or was it just one?
  • How much is the business worth?

These types of questions help to determine the fair approach to dividing the business.

If you started your company before you and your spouse got married, the court may let you retain sole ownership of the company. This is especially true if you were not married for very long and your spouse did not have significant involvement in business operations. This is not guaranteed, however, and business owners in this position should still protect themselves.

If you started the business while you were married, but without your spouse’s help or involvement, your business is still considered community property. The court will likely allow you to keep it but will have to offset its value with other assets. For example, if your business is valued at 2 million dollars, your spouse would be entitled to 2 million dollars in other assets to make things equal.

Many people begin businesses with their spouses. If your business is a joint venture in which you both have equal involvement, you have a few options, such as:

One of the spouses takes the business and the amount is offset by other assets, as detailed above.

One of the spouses buys the other spouse out of their share of the business. For example, if your business were valued at 2 million dollars, you could pay your spouse 1 million dollars for them to forfeit their share in the company or vice versa.

The spouses retain their shares in the company and decide to continue working together after their divorce.

Unfortunately, these options do not leave couples with a lot of great choices. Your Charleston business divorce attorney can help you determine which setup is best for you.

Business Divorce and Prenuptial Agreements

One of the only situations in which a business owner will undoubtedly get to keep their company is in the case of a prenuptial agreement. Through these agreements, the business owner can ensure that the business never becomes shared marital property. Because of this, it is left out of the equation during a divorce.

If you own a business that you began on your own, it is wise to create a prenuptial agreement that protects your business. Though prenuptial agreements have a reputation for being cold and unromantic, in reality, they can make marriage easier and provide essential protection for both parties.

Inheriting a Business

If you inherited your business from a relative, it may be considered non-marital property. However, this is not guaranteed. If this is the situation in your family, it is essential that you sit down with an attorney to review your paperwork. You could lose generations of hard work under certain divorce situations. You need to have high-quality representation on your side if you plan to separate from your spouse.

FAQs About Charleston, WV Divorce Law for Business Owners

How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in West Virginia?

All attorneys charge differently for their expertise and services. Because of this, it is important to speak with your attorney about your finances before you begin to work with them. This is especially true if you own a business and are facing divorce, as this kind of specialized advice may come at a higher cost. It is always best to be sure that you can afford a specific attorney before formally hiring them.

What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in West Virginia?

In most cases, a wife is entitled to half of the couple’s assets. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, property should be shared equally. The only exceptions to this are property covered by a prenuptial agreement and non-marital property. Gender plays no role in the percentage of assets that each spouse receives. This also applies to child custody and child support. A child’s mother does not have an inherent advantage over the father.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an Uncontested Divorce in West Virginia?

It costs $135 to file for an uncontested divorce in West Virginia, but there are options for fee waivers if you cannot afford the fee. Uncontested divorce only occurs when both members of the marriage fully agree on all necessary considerations in the divorce. This means that they agree on asset division, business valuation, and division, etc. This rarely happens.

If you have children, the court will have to determine custody and child support, if applicable.

How Do I Get a Free Divorce in West Virginia?

If you file a divorce yourself with a waiver, the divorce can be free. However, you must remember that in a divorce, you may lose half of what you own. If you represent yourself in your case, there is a large chance you will make mistakes, and the process will be prolonged. This costs a significant amount of time and perhaps other court fees as well. Very rarely is a divorce uncontested and completely free.

Contact Erica Lord Law Group Today

Erica Lord Law Group is here for you during your business divorce. Our significant history in this field makes us the perfect firm to represent you during this difficult time. We can help to make sure that your family and your business are protected during this transitional period.

For more information on what we do and how we can help, contact Erica Lord Law Group online today.

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