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business owner divorce in Fort Collins

Business Ownership and Divorce in Colorado

April 14, 2020

As a business owner or spouse of a business owner going through a divorce, your biggest question is likely, ‘What will happen to my business if I get a divorce?’ The answer to this question can be complex, as dividing business interests in a divorce will depend on several factors. It takes comprehensive and diligent work to accurately determine business ownership interests for possible division in a divorce. Our Fort Collins divorce attorneys have experience valuing and dividing business interests in a divorce and can recommend qualified business valuation experts within our trusted referral network when they are needed.

Common business interests addressed in a Fort Collins and Greeley divorce include:

  • Limited Liability Company / LLC;
  • Sole Proprietorship;
  • S Corporations / s-corp;
  • Partnership, including: doctors, attorneys, CPA's, and more;
  • Closely held family owned businesses;
  • Franchise ownership;

Common industries in Fort Collins and Greeley divorce include:

  • Service industry;
  • Food, including: restaurants, fast food and grocery;
  • Retail;
  • Professional, including: Medical; Legal; Accounting / CPA;
  • Real estate;
  • Farming;
  • Oil and gas;

How Business Interests are divided in Colorado Divorces: 

Our Fort Collins divorce attorneys have experience with valuing and dividing business interests when business owners divorce.

First, the business interest, or ownership, needs to be identified. Most business are organized as a partnership or LLC, but can also be classified as DBA. The way in which a business is classified may impact any form of division arising from a divorce.

Second, it is important to determine whether this business interest of the business owner going through a divorce is a marital interest, premarital, or separate interest. If the business was owned prior to the marriage then it should be considered as separate property when dividing the business interest in a divorce in Colorado.

  • any increase or decrease in value during the marriage
  • value of any property owned by the business
  • debts owed by the business or other liabilities
  • revenues of the business
  • does the business provide a service or product
  • how long the business has been operating
  • any operating agreements
  • any partnership agreements which could include restraints on transferring or selling the business interest
  • whether and how the business could be marketed for sale

Ensuring any retained experts are properly licensed is critical; licensing requirements for Colorado real estate appraisers can be found by clicking this link to the Department of Regulatory Agencies here , and other professional licenses can be confirmed valid in Colorado here.

These are just some of the factors to consider when valuing a business ownership interest when a business owner divorces.

Calculating a business worth for divorce case

Finally, the equitable division of business interest, along with all of the other marital property needs to be determined. This equitable division will be influenced by many factors, such as who contributed to the acquisition of the business interest, potentially the nature of the participation of parties in the business, as well as the economic circumstances of the parties. High net worth individuals often have multiple business interests to divide when divorcing, and may also face high income child support.

Same Day Free Consultation Available

Fill our brief contact form to schedule a time to speak with one of our Fort Collins divorce attorneys at the Cossitt Law Firm today and learn more about dividing business interests when divorcing and how to protect your financial interests.

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Fort Collins Divorce & Child Support Attorneys

Tom Cossitt

Tom Cossitt, Esq.

Family Law
Suzanne Ewy

Suzanne Ewy, Esq.

Family Law
Carla Jaquess

Carla Jaquess, Esq.

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Jenna Hardesty

Jenna Hardesty, Paralegal

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