Fairfax Divorce Involving Business Lawyer

Divorce Involving Business

Divorce Involving Business Attorney in Fairfax, VA

During the divorce process, it’s common to face many bumps in the road. Spouses owning a business comes with challenges, but a knowledgeable Fairfax divorce attorney can help you navigate any complexities.

Having a divorce lawyer you can trust helps give you peace of mind and ease your stress. The attorneys at Curran Moher Weis are ready to help you.

Virginia Divorce Property Division Basics

Before understanding how property is distributed in Virginia, it’s helpful to learn the basics.

There are two types of property: marital and separate. In Virginia, only marital property is distributed between the spouses.

Marital property is property acquired by either spouse during the course of their marriage. This varies from separate property, which entails property spouses obtained before entering into the marriage, or property and assets inherited by or gifted to a spouse during their marriage.

Exceptions may exist for separate property and assets used or enjoyed by both spouses during the marriage. In these cases, a judge may consider certain separate property marital property.

Virginia is also an equitable distribution state, meaning the property is distributed equitably (fairly) between both spouses. Dividing property requires consideration for the marriage and both spouses’ contributions, among other factors. After these considerations, property distribution may not equal a perfect 50/50, but rather what is fair for both parties.

Is a Business Distributed Along with Other Marital Property?

Generally, whether a business is divided between the spouses depends on whether it belongs to one spouse or both, and whether it could be considered separate or marital property.

Courts will examine the business to make determinations.

So, for example, if a business’s value is based on the concept, and the wife created this business before the marriage, it may be deemed separate property and not subject to division. If, on the other hand, the business was created by the wife, but the husband’s work and contributions helped grow the business and increase its value, it would likely be regarded as marital property and require distribution.

How a Business is Distributed in a Virginia Divorce?

If you and/or your spouse have a business, your divorce lawyer can review the details of your business and your marital circumstances to provide critical answers.

If the Business Belongs to One Spouse Alone

Often, when an individual starts a business before marriage, they’ll either try to keep it completely separate from the marriage, or their spouse will begin working with them after the marriage. Both options can have separate outcomes.

If any of the following are true, it’s unlikely a court will deem your business separate property, and it will be considered marital property:

  • Your spouse has contributed to the business, through time and/or money, and their contributions have helped the business stay up and running or expand
  • You’ve invested family/marital funds into the business
  • You run the business and do not pay yourself a fair enough wage, decreasing your marital contributions
  • You’ve failed to keep your business assets completely separate

When any of these scenarios apply to you and your business, it’s likely a judge will determine your business is marital property subject to distribution.

If the Business Belongs to Both Spouses

If you and your spouse own a business together, it is marital property considered during property division. This can, however, add a layer of complication to your divorce.

You or your spouse can either be bought out by the other or you can sell your business. Either option requires determining the value of the business to make sure both spouses are getting their fair share.

Valuing a Business in a Virginia Divorce

In a Virginia divorce involving a business, courts focus on the business’s intrinsic value. The intrinsic value of a business is subjective and looks at the value through the eyes of the spouses.

To determine financial worth, courts regularly utilize one of three methods:

  • Income-excess earning: This approach compares a spouse’s earnings with the average earnings of someone similarly-positioned in their peer group. If the spouse’s income is greater than that of the person in their peer group, it is deemed excess income and included as part of the business’s value. The value is then projected for the future.
  • Asset valuation: This approach solely utilizes a business’s assets to determine its value.
  • Market value: This approach looks at recent sales and selling prices of similar businesses to assign a value.

It is not uncommon to rely on certain experts, including Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), to help determine the value of a divorcing couple’s business.

Consult with a Fairfax Divorce Attorney Experienced in Business Distribution

Curran Moher Weis has extensive experience helping clients through the most challenging divorces, including those involving businesses. We understand how difficult divorce can be on a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our firm aims to make the process smoother and provide our clients with care and kindness from start to finish. Contact our office today to schedule a meeting with one of our skilled Fairfax divorce lawyers.

Get in touch with us

Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today by filling out the form below, or call us at (571) 328-5020.

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    Jason handled my very messy divorce. Complicated custody situation, property disputes, police reports, CPS, custody evaluation – just to name a few things that we had to deal with. Jason always had the situation under control. He will never pr...


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    Grant Moher and his firm has a solid background in addressing family law issues that pertain to military families. They are well positioned to help all service members, veterans, and their dependents. I found Grant Moher and his staff to be exceptio...


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    Steven is very tough but also a decent person and works to create the best possible outcome. He guided me through some very difficult and upsetting negotiations to a very good outcome. He is always extremely accessible. He is very honest and does no...


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    I’m thankful to have engaged Nicole at the start of the process of divorce with children. Her advice has continually been thoughtful and precise. Her experience allows her to be pro-active and she has been thorough in explaining all facets of ...