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Divorce & family business

If your ‘matrimonial pot’ of assets includes a business, it can lead to a number of different and complex considerations when looking at the division of finances on divorce. This is the case regardless of the origin of the business, be it an inherited family business, a partnership started by you and your partner or a new venture started by one of you before or during the marriage.

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Some of the more obvious issues that might arise include:

  • Correctly valuing the business or shares in the business
  • Dealing fairly with the business, bearing in mind its original origins e.g. the difference between an inherited business or one jointly established during the relationship
  • Preserving the business asset base and income stream derived from it while providing fairly for both of you

Less obvious things you may need to consider include the need for tax efficient structuring, the need to maintain stability within the business, and whether there are restrictions on the sale and transfer of shares, among other things.

It may be appropriate to consider giving one of you a greater share of the ‘pot’ than you might otherwise be entitled to, to reflect the inherent risk of taking on the business.

The family courts have a broad discretion when deciding the best way to deal with all assets on divorce, including the family business. The aim is to achieve a fair outcome and, where possible, they will seek to preserve the business if that is in the best interests of both parties. However, the court can also order the sale of all or part of a family business if it thinks it’s appropriate.

Speak to our divorce solicitors

Our specialist team of divorce lawyers can advise you throughout the divorce process on any business-related issue. We also have close links with accountants and other professionals who may be needed to value a business or provide specialist tax advice.

Tell us about your case by completing the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.

Key Contacts

Simon Magner Mawdsley

Simon Magner Mawdsley

Family Law Partner


Simon acts for clients in all aspects of relationship breakdowns including divorce, resolution of financial matters, civil partnerships, cohabitation disputes, pre- and post-marital agreements, injunctions, and children matters.

Lorraine Saunders

Lorraine Saunders

Family Law Partner

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Neil Hobden

Neil Hobden

Family Law Partner

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Richard Barge

Richard Barge

Partner | Head of Family Law

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