Tag: dividing assets and debt in a Wisconsin divorce

When Separate Property Becomes Marital Property

marital property divisionEven though your name might not be on the title of the car or house, Wisconsin is a community property state in a divorce, so half of the marital assets are yours under most circumstances. This is regardless of whether your spouse earned more money or brought in all of the income during the marriage – marital property division is subject to equal division in the state.

Of course not all property is classified as marital property. Separate property may include property acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage, which will remain that spouse’s property after a divorce. Gifts and inheritance acquired by one spouse before or during the marriage may also be considered separate property.

However, if you married your spouse when he or she already owned a home, there is still a possibility that the asset is subject to division in a divorce if it was not maintained as separate property. This is also true when it comes to inheritance if it was co-mingled or mixed with marital assets.

Examples of this might be that your spouse receives an inheritance or gift of money from a relative, which they then deposit into your joint account rather than a separate bank account. Because there was a mixing of separate and marital assets, the inheritance or gift may transmute into marital property. If your spouse owned the home when you married but the two of you use marital assets to make improvements, pay for maintenance, make mortgage payments, or put sweat equity into the home, there may be consideration given to the marital contributions when dividing assets in a divorce.

Contact An Experienced Wisconsin Marital Property Division Attorney For Help

It is important not to draw any conclusions about what marital property is or is not subject to marital asset division in a divorce until you speak to an experienced Wisconsin Family Law attorney. Many spouses simply believe that they have no rights to property that is in their spouse’s name when they divorce, but in many cases, there is some division that is warranted. Contact the Wisconsin Family Law attorneys of Probst Law Offices at 414-210-3135 for a free initial consultation of your case so you can make informed decisions regarding Wisconsin marital property division.

Divorce and Family Business Valuation

Divorce and Family Business ValueMany couples in the U.S. are small business owners. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, figuring out what to do with the family business requires careful consideration.

If you and your spouse have a good working relationship and can put aside your differences, one option is to continue to own the business together. This allows both spouses to hold on to their respective interest in the business.

Sometimes the prospect of continuing a business relationship with an ex is not feasible. Another option for divorcing couples that share a business is to buy-out the other spouse’s interest. If this is an option you and your spouse are considering, it is important to have an experienced business appraiser conduct a business valuation of the company so that a fair market value or fair value can be determined.  Either spouse can then purchase the other’s half if they are able to raise the funds or use other assets in exchange.

If neither spouse wishes to continue with the business after a divorce, they may decide to sell the business to a third party. In this case, following the valuation, you and your spouse can sell the business and split the proceeds. This often requires continuing your business relationship for a period of time while the business is on the market.

Divorce and a Family Business

Because a divorce will certainly impact a business, married couples can benefit by thinking ahead. Before starting a business, it is a good idea to consider a prenuptial agreement, shareholder agreement or a buy-sell agreement to prevent a legal battle over the value of the assets if you divorce.

Hire an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering a divorce and have a family business, it is important to work with an experienced complex divorce lawyer to ensure that your interests are being served. A skilled negotiator can help you obtain a favorable outcome when dividing marital assets while reducing expensive legal fees.

Business Valuation in a Divorce

If you or your spouse decide to buy the other’s interest in the business or sell the business outright, your divorce attorney can help you obtain a reputable business appraiser to perform a business valuation. If possible, it is recommended that you and your spouse agree to hire only one business valuation firm to be able to save on expenses. Following a valuation, your attorney can help you interpret the valuation so that you can make an informed decision on the disposition of the business.

Running a Family Business After Divorce

Beyond the legal proceedings, divorce can have lasting effects on the business if one or both spouses decide to keep the business going. Thoughtful consideration should be given to a change in the financial situation following a divorce. If one spouse is buying the business from the other, certainly the loss of a business partner will change how you run the business. For couples who decide to continue running a business after they divorce, consider how your roles in the company may need to change to ensure your continued success.

Contact an Experienced Family Business Valuation Divorce Attorney

If you are considering a divorce and own a family business, contact an experienced Wisconsin business valuation divorce attorney for answers to your questions regarding the division of marital assets with a small business. Contact us online or call today at 414-210-3135.

Marital Property Division | Waukesha Wisconsin Divorce Lawyers

During marriage, couples accumulate many assets such as cars, homes, investments and more. If you are considering a Wisconsin divorce, you may have questions regarding how your assets will be divided between you and your spouse.

Wisconsin is a community property state, which means that property purchased with income earned during the marriage is considered marital property. When couples divorce, this property is divided equally between spouses.

When courts divide property, it is typically a matter of adding up the total value of the marital estate and granting each spouse a percentage. Although Wisconsin law implies a 50-50 split, a judge strives to make the division fair, so he or she may deviate from an equal distribution of assets after considering various factors such as:

  • The property each spouse brought into the marriage
  • The amount of non-marital assets/separate property involved, which may include property acquired before the marriage such as inheritance, gifts, material items, etc. However, keep in mind that some separate property items may become community property in circumstances where co-mingled funds were used to maintain the separate property, such as a house.

Continue reading “Marital Property Division | Waukesha Wisconsin Divorce Lawyers”