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Can you claim some of the family business’s value in a divorce?

Family businesses in Texas come in all shapes and sizes. Some families maintain a ranch or pass down the mineral rights to a property from generation to generation. Others may run a family accounting business or a small engine repair shop.

It is common practice for many members of the family to play a role in the family business, although it sometimes is the primary responsibility of one family member more than others. If your spouse started or owns a small family business, do you have a claim to some of its value if you file for a divorce in Texas?

The business or its assets could be community property

For the purpose of dividing up your assets, anything you own or acquired during the marriage, with the exception of an inheritance or certain gifts, will likely be community property to be divided in the divorce.

A business could be community property if one spouse used marital income or assets to fund the company. The same is true if there is any kind of financial commingling between household accounts and business accounts. Your unpaid work at the company, possibly doing cleaning or helping customers on the weekends, might also represent an investment in the business.

You will need to establish a value for the business and show the courts that they should treat it as community property. A careful review of the records with the help of your attorney can give you a better idea about whether you have a right to claim a portion of the business in your divorce.

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