What to do about divorce and ownership of corporation?

I own a C corporation, am the only shareholder and I have complete control over my income and paycheck. I wanted to know this since I will be going through a divorce very soon. Basically, I own the corporation but my actual part in it is not always the same. Most of the time I only show up to see how employees perform and how the business is doing financially. Also, I’m around for major decisions. I keep my income at average of 87K per year. Does my spouse have a right to include anything in an alimony other than my personal income? If so, please include reasoning for this.

Asked on June 25, 2012 under Family Law, New York


Brad Micklin / The Micklin Law Group

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally, the court will take your income as stated if that is the history while you were married. The court will add in any perks that you receive like auto expenses, travel and entertainment and similar business expenses that have a personal benefit.

There is a possibility, if she gets a good attorney, that they will argue that you should be imputed income. Courts will impute, or inflate, income if the court finds a person to be willfully underemployed with no just cause. It sounds like you run a large corporation. Presumably, you have a great deal of experience and/or education required to do this. One may argue that you purposely pay yourself less than you are worth and request that the court impute income to a higher level.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.