How to save a business in a divorce?

UPDATED: Dec 29, 2011

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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


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

Answered 11 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.

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 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.

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