The complex nature of divorce becomes even more serious when there’s a family business involved. Read on to learn more about special factors to consider when there’s a family business and to learn about the value of hiring an Arizona divorce attorney with experience in this field.

Review Documents

If you planned ahead and put the interests of the business ahead of the interests of shareholders, it might be easier to use the agreements already signed to determine what will happen to the business. If a husband and wife own portions of the business separately and do not want to go on running it together, it’s possible for one party to buy out the other’s share.

Prepare Yourself for Valuation

When the Court or both parties decide that the best thing to do is to either absorb one spouse’s share into the others or to sell the business and split the profits, it’s easy to predict that the next biggest issue will be about valuation. Determining what the business is worth requires a team of experts who have experience in business valuation so that the methods are clear and fair.

If you don’t have a prenuptial agreement, buy-sell agreement, or a shareholder agreement, you need to be prepared for a potentially long legal battle. Hiring an Arizona divorce attorney who can help you find the right professionals to explore the valuation and other business issues can be essential. Having professionals help with this can alleviate concerns and reduce confusion, too.

Use one business valuation firm if possible, and don’t resort to trying to divide the business in half unless it looks like this is the only option. It’s very difficult for two fighting partners to work together on the business, even though you might believe that you and your former spouse can come together. Often, working together in the business after a divorce is too difficult and emotional. If you can avoid putting yourself in this situation, do.

Find the Right Lawyer

Your lawyer should be interested in the best outcome for you- especially when that does not look like a long legal battle. If you have no desire to fight on an issue or you are willing to make compromises in the name of resolving a major concern, your attorney should hear you on that and deploy a strategy to accomplish that goal. Streamlining the process and saving you money may be key goals for you. At the same time, it’s worth listening to your attorney if he or she is giving you advice based on past experience with clients in similar situations- this can be crucial for helping you avoid mistakes.

Meet with your Arizona divorce attorney first so you get a sense of how they work and what your case might look like. There are complicated issues in any divorce, but this is especially true when there’s a family business involved. You need to feel confident about the attorney you choose to work with you, so it’s something to evaluate carefully.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Family Business and Divorce: Things to Consider, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Lindsay A.M. Olivarez at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.