Skip to main content

If my soon to be ex closes his business before divorce is final, am I still owed the value?

Modesto, CA |

Going through a divorce (separated 6/2011, and filed over a year later 8/2012). I need to contact an accountant to have the business value assessed, but how will that affect me if he closes the business before the divorce is final. will the value be assessed and determined from the date of separation or the date of filing?

Also, I haven't touched the bank account since we separated. When does my liability with the business end? Did it end on the date we separated, or on the date I filed for divorce? If my liability was still in "play" for the year before I filed, he would owe me half of the profit, right?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


You need to hire a family law attorney rather than try to get advice about this over an internet site.

I am a tax attorney, not a family law attorney. Since no one else has yet responded to you, let me give you my best guesses. 1. If the spouse closes the business before the divorce, the Judge has the discretion to determine the value of the business. The judge might decide that your spouse only closed it due to the divorce and decide to value it as of some earlier date so as not to give your spouse the benefit of a zero value for a business which your spouse might easily be able to later start up again. 2. Your liability with the business, as between third parties, ends when your relationship with the business ends. Third parties are not impacted by your divorce. Yes, if you are still liable for the business, it seems only fair that you would be entitled to half the profits. However, a family law judge has very broad discretion, so you can never be certain how this issue will be decided. That is why you need a very good family law attorney.


You may want to file a motion to seek court oversight of the situation and to maybe ask for an order that the business not be closed, or that you run it yourself if he tries to close it. I don't know all the details or why he may be closing the business and these details (not so minor details), and therefore it is difficult to give a more complete recommendation. Meet with a family law attorney before you take action.

The answers offered by this attorney are for general information purposes only and you should not take action based on these answers without first speaking with an attorney who can go over all the facts of your case in person. Every case is different; a change in facts results in a different answer.

Get Avvo’s 10-part divorce email series

A weekly guide with tips and legal advice for each stage of the process.

Divorce topics

Recommended articles about Divorce

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer