A business that has started or acquired during a marriage, regardless of which spouse operates or supports that business, is subject to equitable distribution. Both parties are entitled to share in the benefits of that business. You usually determine the value of a business by hiring a forensic accountant. If you had a business that was pre-marital, then the portion of the business that was increased during the term of the marriage—more specifically, from the date of a divorce complaint to the day the divorce is filed, is basically in play to be distributed. The business, whether run by the husband or wife, even if one of them didn’t provide any financial support to the business, doesn’t mean it’s not in the pot for equitable purposes, and the non-contributing spouse will be entitled to a portion of that business.
William M. Laufer heads the matrimonial department of Laufer, Dalena, Jensen, Bradley, and Doran, LLC in Morristown, NJ. He has been certified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys as a divorce mediator and has worked in the mediation process for over seven years. He can be reached at (973) 285-1444. View his firm’s Divorce Magazine profile.