How to save a business in a divorce?

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How to save a business in a divorce?

My father-in-law has worked over 35 years to build his general contracting company and is getting ready to separate from his wife of 30 years. She is the one who wanted the separation initially. Where does my father-in-law start to remove her from the business deed (I think it is called, not sure) before they start any legal process and she takes half of everything he has worked so hard to build? He is willing to let her have the house but he is not going to pay for it.

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your Father in law's situation but I have to tell you that this is NOT the forum to get advice on such a complicated matter.  First, he can not do anything to remove her name from anything that could be considered a marital asset, and the business can be considered that, or at least quasi marital.  Yes, it was his before the marriage but he took what would have been considered separate property and maybe made it marital property by making her a part of the business.  It shows intent to make it marital proeprty. If he does anything with it against her interests it could be seen as "dissipating" maritl assets.  Please have him seek legal counsel asap.  He may be able to barter the house for the business but everything is going to have to be valued and debts - including the mortgage - have to be considered as well.  Good luck.


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