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Is my wife entitled to half of my business when we get divorced?
Married Life / 8:01 AM - Monday May 31, 2010

Is my wife entitled to half of my business when we get divorced?

I am now starting divorce proceeding agains t my wife. I am a partner in a small business which has been run for nearly 40 years. My wife has never worked. I have always supported her financially and she has never been involved in the business. Is she entitled to half of the business?

- Asked by Male, 66 or older

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Unless you had a pre-nup to the contrary, I would think she would entitled to that.

She might not have worked in the business, but she did take care of your home and children (if you had them). All of that helped you to be able to run your business.

You'd have to consult an attorney to be sure.

- Response by mrscleaver16, A Married Girl, Female, 66 or older

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She gets half of any marital assets, this would include your stake in the business, probably.

- Response by stillagoodguy1, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Celebrity

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It may just cost you, to have her interest in the business resolved.....

Since she hasn't had a need to work, ever heard of alimony?

She may be used to a better life, while accepting your support for the rest of her life...

I'm being straight up with you....

- Response by richard77, A Jock, Male, Who Cares?, Self-Employed

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Yup, at least half unless you can make an arrangement with her. I sold my business as my divorce was going through and split the assets 50-50 so I would never have anything further to do with her financially

- Response by sexytony617, A Creative, Male, 46-55, Boston, Consulting

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It would depend on the laws of your state, among other factors. There;s no way to answer this question without a lot more info. This is something you should ask your lawyer.

- Response by mikehug, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Cleveland

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Probably. It depends on what state you are filing in. If you are going to have to give up 50%, get used to the idea, and don't add bitterness to an already bad situation. If you have the possibility of saving your marriage, do the work. If that idea is repugnant to you, then money can't be the deciding factor. If divorce is a certainty, get an attorney.

- Response by integrity111, A Thinker, Female, 66 or older, Who Cares?

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Yes, she's entitled to half the marital assets, meaning any money made off the business since you were married. Furthermore, she is also entitled to spousal alimony payments because she has not worked and therefore lacks the skills to go out and get a job right now (at least in our current job market). Congratulations, you have officially screwed yourself blue.

- Response by lioness21, A Player, Female, 29-35, Consulting

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It all depends on what state you live in and the laws there but generally speaking it IS possible she may be entitled to 1/2 of your business or at least the profits from it. It's also possible that even if she isn't entitled to 1/2 of that you will still be expected to support her because she's never supported herself. Most courts will give her 1-3 years to get educated so she can get a good job and support herself. Worst case scenario you should expect that you'll have to financially support her for some time to come.

Good luck!

- Response by houseworkmakesyaugly, A Married Girl, Female, 36-45

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ya she is but u can buy her half


- Response by bigcurt, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 56-65, Pittsburgh, Self-Employed

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you better start thinking of Giving up everything else to keep your share of the business

- Response by boxer1, A Guy Critical, Male, 46-55, Self-Employed

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Do you own your marital home? The division of assets has to be deemed fair. I would say the length of your marriage will be a factor in deciding too. Are things likely to get nasty? And does she even want half of your share of the business? People tend to jump to conclusions quite easily here, like the person who knows no more than your question saying your wife gives women a bad name. Quite sad really.

I hope your divorce has a conclusion that isn't too financially disasterous for either of you. Do find a good lawyer.

- Response by cam80, A Career Woman, Female, 29-35

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I believe, it would depend on the marriage laws in your state. If you started this business during your marriage, you might have to split half of what this business brought in and 401k's or anything else contributing to finances during your marriage. And, it appears where you'll get royally screwed will be in the alimony.

Because, she's never worked and you've been her sole source of financial support. As well as, you've supported her lifestyle. It appears either way, it's going to be very costly for you. And, I don't know how old she is, but if she decides to never get married, work, or find a job, this will go on for probably the rest of your lives. I'm no divorce attorney. So, I can't be sure. But, you definitely need to get you a good one.

- Response by thelovedovefor1, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Atlanta, Who Cares?

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Marriage contracts don't have anything in them about promises for the types of behavior or work expected from each party while the marriage is still going. They are all about access to wealth and division of assets on divorce. It would be a lot more accurate to call them vague and poorly worded divorce contracts.

I doubt I would ever get married but if I did I think I would seek out an experienced divorce attorney to be our marriage councilor.

- Response by A Guy Critical, Male, 46-55, Technical

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If she never worked, then hell no. Too many women these days look at divorce as a get rich quick scheme, and that not only pisses me off, but makes those women look like the money-grubbing gold-digging bithces that they really are. Women want equal rights and equal pay, yet they want to line up the Goddamned Brinks truck every time they get divorced. Screw that.

- Response by doctorphil, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65, Los Angeles, Celebrity

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Is she entitled to it? No way. If she worked, would you get half of her income going forward? No. Then why the hell should she get half of your business? You need to get a good attorney...and figure out a way to devalue your business.

However, the courts may see it differently. Which is ridiculous of course.

- Response by myndseye711, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Bilbao, Celebrity

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It depends on the ownership of your business.If you have joint ownership with a partner your wife is not entitled to 1/2 your business. You need to speak to a lawyer and your wife is entitled to 1/2 your home, 1/2 your assets and most likely alimony until she is able to support herself. The court looks at her as a partner if she maintained the home, cared for the children and cooked and cleaned. You would not have had the time to build a business without her. Rosey

- Response by roseytalks, A Thinker, Female, Who Cares?, Tampa, Who Cares?

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Your wife is entitled to half of everything you have gained while married. So, if you have been married for 40 years, then yep, she gets half of that too. Buncha bullshit if you ask me...

- Response by An Intellectual Guy, Male, 29-35

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Sell your half of the "ownership" of the business to your partner for $1, but make him sign a contract keeping you salaried in the business, and giving you decision making power in the business. But, Do it BEFORE you file the papers!

- Response by An Intellectual Guy, Male, 29-35

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your business is an agreement between you and your partner. period. you are an employee of that business, but your wife is not a partner or an employee in the business. She will probably get a portion of the items you acquired while you were married, but that does not make her a partner in your business. Make it clear that she has never worked there or contributed to the company. Make sure you draw the distinction that she has her own life friends etc.

- Response by ruffian, A Sportif, Female, 36-45

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U know people on here don't get it sometimes u are married to a man that don't allow u to work he owns a business and band s stands for Bruce and I do the books and wn iam there I anser phones. I want out of marriage I really haven't worked any were else my marriage is abusive and controlling I think I should be granted money from the business he ownes 3 cars and iam not allowed to any of them and he owns the land of bun iess and 2 houses but my name isn't on any men think they own u and the stuff they buy I get a gift from my husband and if I sell it after a few he says that's his money wt do do well I Ned answer to men are nasty people


- Response by harleysue1957, A Thinker, Female, 56-65

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