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Rombro & Manley LLP

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How owning a business can impact your divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2022 | Divorce

Owning a business is something that you should be proud of. You may have put many years of hard work into growing and maintaining a successful business.

Like most California business owners, you will do anything to protect your business. If you are divorcing, one of your biggest concerns is likely to be how a divorce will affect your business.

Divorce involves resolving many different issues. These can include property division, custody and child support.

Property division

All or part of your business can be considered marital property. Assuming you do not co-own the business with your spouse, you will likely receive part of the business as part of property division.

As with any other piece of marital property, a value will need to be placed on your business. There are various types of valuation methods, and you should determine which type is best for your situation.


Negotiating a custody schedule becomes more complex when you own a business. Sure, you might get to “set your own hours,” but that usually means that your schedule is unpredictable.

This means that a custody schedule involving specific days and times might not be the best for your situation. More flexible language may be more realistic.

However, this requires trust and communication between you and your co-parent. They must understand that your schedule may change, and you should understand their need for as much consistency and predictability as possible.

Child support

Your income is a factor in how much child support you pay. As you probably know, the income of a business owner usually varies based on how their business is doing at any given time.

This is quite a different situation than receiving a consistent, steady paycheck of relatively the same amount every week or two weeks. Without a steady paycheck to show, a court may ask for your most recent tax return and use that amount as your yearly income.

That approach often leaves business owners struggling with child support orders they cannot pay, since a tax return for one year does not reflect how things are all the time. It is best to try to negotiate a fair amount with your co-parent.

Because there are so many unique challenges in a divorce involving a business, you should have valuable advice and guidance. This can increase your chance of receiving a fair outcome.