Can my ex-spouse take half of my business?

Dividing a business in an Ohio divorce is one of the more complicated topics in family law. Your situation, if your business qualified as community property and you could not reach an immediate agreement on its division, would likely involve your legal team and that of your former partner performing lengthy valuation and discovery techniques before entering into similarly time-consuming negotiations.

Two situations that might speed up the division process for a business are, as briefly mentioned above, if the assets of your business are your own separate property or if you are able to reach an agreement without argument regarding who gets the company. The latter would probably depend mostly on the attitude of your ex-spouse. If there is no interest on the opposing side in the ownership or operation of your business, then it is likely you could easily negotiate a fair-value replacement for the assets it represents.

However, the first thing you would probably want to do before extending any sort of offer is determine whether the company should be part of the community property. According to FindLaw, you might be able to keep your entire business without offering anything in return if it satisfies certain conditions. For example, a business you started before marriage and to which your spouse did not contribute might be your separate property. 

You might also be able to divide only the earnings of a business that occurred after you became married. However, each situation is different. Please do not think of this as legal advice specific to any case. It is meant only to be educational material.

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