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In a divorce, what am I entitled to if my spouse has a business?

As a lawyer in Calgary, one of the questions that client's frequently ask me when discussing their divorce is: What am I entitled to from my spouse's business?

Fortunately, the answer to that question is relatively straightforward. The answer is: If the business was started during the course of the marriage, any assets of the business will be deemed to be matrimonial property and will be divided in the same manner as all other matrimonial property.

Ordinarily, there is not a dispute regarding whether the assets of the business are matrimonial property. However, frequently, there is a dispute between the parties regarding the value of the business and/or how the business is to be divided.

The value of the business may require expert evidence from a business evaluator and the parties will need to consider whether the difference between their valuations justifies incurring such an expense. There is not normally a dispute regarding the value of the physical assets of the business (the vehicles, the machinery, the office equipment, etc.) but the parties may experience big disagreements regarding assets such as goodwill and accounts receivable.

Valuing each party's entitlement to the business may be further complicated if the business was started prior to their relationship.

If you have any questions regarding the above, or if you would like to discuss any questions you have regarding divorce, separation, child support, spousal support, division of property, custody and access, or guardianship and parenting, please call me using 403-538-2105, or send me an email using this link.

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