Is My Business Subject to Equitable Distribution in a Divorce?

A wooden judge's gavel lying on its side on a white background, symbolizing law, justice, and authority in matters like permanent alimony in NY.

To learn about business owner divorce and if your business is subject to equitable distribution, continue reading. For assistance with your upcoming legal matters, do not hesitate to contact our Nassau County business valuation lawyer. Here are some questions you may have:

Is my business subject to equitable distribution in a divorce?

It is common for those who solely own businesses to assume that they will not be subject to equitable distribution. However, businesses will be considered marital property in many cases, meaning they will be subject to equitable distribution. Even if you were the only individual who ran and operated your business while your spouse stayed at home, taking care of daily chores and raising your children, there is still a good chance that the courts will determine that your spouse actively contributed to your marriage, and they are entitled to a portion of your business.

How is the value of a business determined?

When a business is determined to be marital property by the courts, the next step that will occur is the assigning of value to the business. If you are a business owner, there will be various financial documents that you will be required to provide concerning your business including the following:

  • Your business’s regular income
  • Whether your business has any debts or liabilities
  • The overall value of your business

When you submit this information, it is crucial that you are truthful and that you ensure there are no discrepancies. If discrepancies do arise, the IRS will likely become involved, which will lead to further complications. To avoid this, reach out to an experienced Nassau County divorce lawyer who will ensure you provide all of the necessary documentation to avoid potential conflicts with the IRS or other entities.

How can I protect my business in a divorce?

There are various ways to protect your business in a divorce. For example, if you own a business and are not yet married, drafting a prenuptial agreement to state that the business is to be considered separate property in the event of a future divorce can secure your business. If you are already married, you may still draft a postnuptial agreement that will severe a similar purpose. If you and your spouse jointly own a business, you may draft a shareholder agreement that outlines each spouses’ interest in the business in the event of a divorce.


Barrows Levy PLLC is a dedicated New York law firm focused on providing quality legal services to clients in New York City and Long Island. If you require a lawyer who has notable experience handling family and estate planning matters, we are available to help. Contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

Contact Us Today!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.