How are Businesses Divided In a Florida Divorce?

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One concern a lot of my clients have is how to protect their business in the event they get divorced from their spouse. Under Florida law, a business acquired during the marriage is marital property and should not be distributed to only one party.

The first thing the court must do is identify the asset as a marital asset. This was held in the decision of Esposito v. Esposito, 651 So 2d 1248 (Fla 2d DCA 1995). It doesn’t make sense though that the parties should be left running the business together after the divorce is finalized. Therefore, the court must value the business asset and then determine the distribution to the spouses.

Once the court makes the determination of what portion of the business is marital it can then determine the value. The valuation of the business as a marital asset must be determined through the presentation of competent substantial evidence to the court. After this value is determined the court will distribute the interests according to the principles of equitable distribution. This may include setoffs among other assets of the marriage or forms of alimony to compensate for one spouse’s distribution without disturbing the business.

For more questions on business in Florida divorce actions call a Florida Family Law Attorney.