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Will My Business Be Considered Marital Property?

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Will My Business Be Considered Marital Property?

Will My Business Be Considered Marital Property?

When you are going through a divorce, it is natural to worry about assets that you have spent a good part of your life building. In particular, when you own a business, it can be difficult to think about giving up a company that you are committed to and that serves as your primary source of income. As such, you may be wondering, “Will my business be considered marital property, and will it be divided in my divorce?” The answer to those questions will depend upon the specific facts of your case. Our Missouri divorce lawyers will explain in more detail, and we can speak with you today about your case if you require assistance.

When Did You Open the Business?

One of the key questions for determining whether your business will be considered marital property—and thus subject to division in your divorce—is when you opened the business. If you started the business prior to the date of your marriage, any assets that went into the business or that the business earned before the date of the marriage would be considered separate property.

However, if you opened the business after the date of the marriage, under Missouri law, the business is likely to be considered marital property unless it falls into an exception.

Has Marital Property Been Used to Support the Business?

Even if you opened the business prior to the date of the marriage, have you used any marital assets to support the business or to expand the business in any capacity? If so, then the business assets are likely to be considered “commingled” property, meaning that they have characteristics of both separate (non-marital) and marital property. The court can attempt to trace out the different types of property, but sometimes assets are so commingled that they cannot be separated and may be classified wholly as marital or separate property.

Have You Excluded the Business in a Prenuptial Agreement? 

Even if the business is likely to be classified as marital property based on when you opened the business and what assets have been used to support it, did you exclude the business from your marital property in a prenuptial agreement? If you did, and the prenuptial agreement is likely enforceable, you should not have to worry about whether or not your business will be divided in your divorce.

If you do not have a prenuptial agreement, or the prenuptial agreement does not include your business, you may still be able to create an enforceable postnuptial agreement in which your business is excluded from the marital property that the court will consider in your divorce case. 

Contact Our Missouri Divorce Attorneys Today

If you have questions about the classification of your business as marital or separate property, you should seek advice from a Missouri divorce attorney at our firm as soon as possible. Even if your business will likely be classified as marital property and will be subject to division, we can discuss options with you for retaining the business and ensuring that you can continue running your company after your divorce is finalized. Contact Scott A. Hamblin today for more information about the services we provide to clients who are getting divorced in Missouri.

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