Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Property division: What about the family business?

It is only natural for both parties in an Illinois divorce to be concerned about their post-divorce financial stability. What happens during the property division process will largely determine that outcome. Everybody wants to live comfortably as they move into a new life. One bone of contention in many divorces is shares in family businesses that were built by the hard work and sacrifices of both spouses.

Many divorcing spouses are shocked to learn that they are regarded as no more than ordinary employees of the businesses that were part of their lives for years. The truth is that without his or her name on the ownership documents of the company, that spouse will have no legal claim to a fair share of it. Even if the other party says his or her spouse is a part owner, it will not constitute legal ownership.

As soon as the idea of a divorce develops, it might be wise to check those company documents to see whose names are recorded as business owners. Other ways that may override the ownership documents are a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement that allocates to each spouse a share of the business. If a person's business share is in jeopardy, it may be a good idea to have his or her name added on those documents before filing for a divorce.

An experienced divorce attorney in Illinois can answer any questions related to property division. A lawyer may also be able to assist with arranging to get the company documents modified to include the names of both spouses as owners. Every spouse has the right to fight for what he or she deserves after putting in as much effort as the other spouse to build a successful business.

Source:, "How to keep your business partnership after divorce", Gail Saukas, Accessed on Aug. 18, 2017

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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