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Dishonesty about business finances and divorce

If you and your spouse are Minnesota business owners, you no doubt worked long and hard to get where you are today. Your company is hopefully thriving, particularly regarding finances. It’s not uncommon for a business to hit a rough patch on occasion, although such issues may spark marital problems if spouses aren’t being honest with each other.  

Did your spouse take out a loan without your knowledge to help a business stay afloat? Is there money missing from your jointly owned savings account? Has someone used family funds to cover business expenses? These and other issues are some of the most common causes of divorce among wealthy business owners.  

Full disclosure is a requirement in divorce, even if you didn’t have it in your marriage 

If you have filed for a divorce, your spouse must be forthcoming regarding all assets and liabilities, even those associated with business finances that he or she has been keeping secret. Not disclosing all assets may constitute a form of perjury, which is punishable by law.  

Whether you and your spouse both own separate businesses or work together in a family business, when property division proceedings begin, all assets you have acquired during marriage will be equitably divided between you. Equitable is not the same as equal. The latter refers to a 50/50 split, while the former means a fair, albeit not necessarily equal division.  

Substance abuse, gambling and other problematic issues 

Many wealthy business owners get into trouble when they start spending money for pleasure. This sometimes leads to alcohol or gambling addictions, as well as other problems that not only cause financial crisis but relationship problems, as well.  

If you are filing for a divorce, and you and your spouse have children together, such issues may be a central focus of child custody proceedings. On the one hand, your ex might seem to have all the resources necessary to provide for a family because of a profitable business. On the other hand, however, if there is a substance abuse issue or other risky lifestyle issue, the court might not consider your ex fit for custody.  

Resolving one issue at a time in a high-asset divorce 

As a business-owning family in Minnesota, you might be one of many wealthy spouses who must navigate a complex divorce. To ensure a fair outcome, it is always best to rely on experienced guidance and support. It is also helpful to compile a list of all your needs, as well as any issues of concern that you want to resolve as part of your settlement.  

If you suspect foul play regarding property division or another issue, you can bring the matter to the court’s attention. There are resources available to help you make sure that you walk away with all that you should receive and that your children’s best interests are protected.