While maintaining a family business during a marriage is nothing new, many couples now explore the options provided by an online marketplace. Whether they have developed an online component to the brick-and-mortar business or as a singular online company, the couple must take steps to divide the organization should divorce become a reality.
Even though every divorce situation is different, there are two common issues the couple must resolve when dividing an online business:
- Business valuation: A significant part of the division of assets centers on reaching an agreement regarding the true value of the business. In many instances, property such as real estate, buildings, equipment and supplies account for a great deal of the value. With an online business, though, many of these assets are irrelevant. The divorcing couple must focus on the true value, intellectual property, product and future worth of the organization.
- Business distribution: Once the couple determines the value of the organization, they must reach an agreement regarding distribution. Often, the couple will choose from one of three options: sell the business and split the profit, one partner buys out the other, or the former spouses decide to continue running the business after the divorce.
In the digital age, running an online business is common. Married couples often devote significant time developing, maintaining and growing an online business. Whether it exists on eBay, Facebook Marketplace or it is a wholly independent website, the couple will likely have dedicated several hundred hours of effort. Dividing the rewards of their hard work can be a challenging process, but necessary to reach their new, independent futures.