It’s much more common for one side to take the business interest and the other side to receive an offsetting distribution of other assets. As you put it, maybe one side does get the business and the other side gets the house. Maybe there’s retirement money that can be apportioned disproportionately to compensate the spouse who didn’t receive the business for the interest that they’re foregoing. There are lots of ways that it can be structured. It’s important that the spouse who’s going to continue to operate the businesses is not overly burdened with the payments. We want to make sure that the business flourishes, that the spouse who’s going to operate the businesses has incentive to make it as profitable as possible and to continue that long into the future.
Chuck Roberts is family lawyer at Momkus McCluskey Roberts, LLC, one of the largest law firms in DuPage County, Illinois.