Pennsylvania business owners may face additional stress when they get divorced, regardless of whether their spouse was a partner in the business. For many business owners, the company is their greatest asset. Therefore, it's important to get an accurate assessment of its value prior to sitting down at the negotiation table.
The first step is to consult with a forensic accountant. These professionals are skilled at evaluating information provided to them and also to determine where there might be gaps in the data that need to be explored further. This is especially important when one spouse handles most of the business finances. Since the judge can only divide assets that have been disclosed, relying solely on someone who has an interest in hiding assets could be a huge mistake.
Every aspect of the business needs to be assessed in order to determine the value of the company. This could take some time so it's important to get started right away. The way the family law court divides the assets will depend on a number of factors, including the business structure, when the company was started and whether one spouse devotes more time and resources to it. A partnership might be handled much differently than a sole proprietorship. If one spouse agrees to buy out the other, it's important for the one who will keep the business to hold something as collateral until the former spouse pays off the debt.
When it comes to a complex divorce, having an attorney who understands how a business can be part of a person's identity is key. Successfully dividing a business in a divorce might require a lot of negotiation. An attorney could support a client during this phase of the process.