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Business Owners & Divorce

Buffalo Lawyers Represent Business Owners and Their Spouses in Divorce

Experienced Western New York attorneys protect clients’ interests during marital property disputes

When spouses with significant marital assets go through a divorce, their financial future is at stake and securing a favorable property division is a key priority. Divorces where one or both spouses own a business are especially complex and require a family law attorney who is experienced in the valuation and distribution of business assets. The Law Office of Randy S. Margulis in Williamsville and Buffalo understands that thorough valuations, consultations with financial experts and tenacity are essential to successfully protecting the financial interests of clients when business ownership is on the line.

Accomplished firm helps navigate divorces involving ownership shares

In divorces in which business ownership might be classified as marital property, it is critical that your attorney facilitates an accurate valuation before asset division is decided. Business assets typically are categorized as either tangible or intangible. Tangible assets include items you could sell or liquidate, such as properties, equipment, vehicles, stocks or cash. Intangible assets include intellectual property and goodwill.

Especially in cases concerning high net worth marital estates, an experienced family law attorney may work with an accountant or someone else with financial expertise who can review and analyze information about business holdings and operations. A professional valuator may consider the company’s cash flow, balance sheets and owner equity when making an appraisal.

If one spouse started their business prior to the start of marriage and the other spouse had no ownership or involvement during the course of the marriage, the business itself might be considered separate property. However, the appreciation in value that occurred since the couple wed could become part of the marital estate.

Buffalo family law firm handles business asset distribution

Certain considerations may affect how a court would characterize business assets in an equitable distribution analysis, including:

  • Marital investments — Regardless of whether the spouses shared ownership of a business or it was in one spouse’s name, if marital funds were used to invest in the business, an increase in value might be considered part of the marital estate that is subject to division.
  • Prenuptial/postnuptial agreement — If a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement explicitly excludes a business from the marital estate, an appreciation in value might also be separate property. However, not every agreement will be enforced. We can advise about the enforceability and effect of these documents.
  • Degrees/licenses — If during the marriage one spouse earned a degree or license that enabled them to start their business (for example, a medical degree in the context of a physician’s practice), the other spouse might be compensated for their contribution to that degree. The business wouldn’t be liquidated or shared, but the court could find some way to acknowledge the non-owner spouse’s contribution in the property distribution.

Like each business, each divorce is unique, so it’s wise to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer about your options before deciding how to proceed.

Contact an experienced Buffalo family law firm about business assets in divorce

Call the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis today at 716-886-9600  or contact our firm online to schedule an initial consultation regarding the division of business shares and other aspects of your divorce. From our offices in Williamsville and downtown Buffalo, we represent clients living throughout Western New York.

Randy  S.  Margulis Attorney Photo
Randy S. Margulis
Member

As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 27 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.

Alexandra M. Rockwood Attorney Photo
Alexandra M. Rockwood
Associate

Alexandra M. Rockwood is an Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis & Associates and has been with the firm since early 2020. She practices primarily in the areas of matrimonial and family law. Ms. Rockwood graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in History and minors in Political…

Reviews & Ratings
  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy Margulis is knowledgable of Domestic Law, dedicated, responsive, personable, aggressive and effective. I came to him on a friend's recommendation as well as Randy's reputation, and during the initial consultation I liked his approach and track ...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Found Mr. Margulis to be a very organized and professional individual to work with. He is well-respected by his peers and is spoken of highly, I believe this helped with my divorce and made things go smoothly. I would highly recommend his services ...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy is very firm and effective in court while empathetic to his clients. I am a domestic violence victim, and Randy made me feel safe and protected. My financial award was more than I envisioned it to be when I started my divorce. I can't thank ...

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