Generally speaking, divorce does not result in liquidating the family business. Generally speaking, and obviously there are exceptions to this, the person who’s operated the business in the past will continue to operate the business in the future. The divorce lawyer’s obligation is to help the parties reach an opinion of value as to what that business interest is really worth and to structure compensation to the spouse who is not going to receive the business for their interest. That could mean periodic payments, it could mean a share of the profits in the future, it could mean a portion adjusted over time as the business profitability fluctuates. In the vast majority of cases, the businesses have represented the livelihood for the parties. It wouldn’t make any sense to liquidate that interest and leave the parties without any source of income. A family lawyer will try to find a way to structure it so that the person who has operated it can continue to operate it.
Chuck Roberts is family lawyer at Momkus McCluskey Roberts, LLC, one of the largest law firms in DuPage County, Illinois.