When married couples who have been in business together in San Antonio choose to divorce, the issues of property and asset division (which can already be quite involved even in traditional cases) become that much more complex. Business assets now become marital assets, and the conduct of each party regarding their roles with their companies may be placed under a microscope. Any alleged improprieties on the part of one that adversely impact the performance of the business may end up leaving him or her liable for additional assets to be paid to his or her ex-spouse as compensation.
A Maine man is currently learning this lesson the hard way after the state’s Supreme Court dismissed his appeal of a lower court’s decision that required him to pay his ex-wife for the depreciation of their business’ assets due to his misconduct. The dispute arose over two businesses the couple shared together, one of which controlled ownership of a fishing vessel and the other operating as a commercial lobster fishing company. Records show that he used funds from the fishing boat business to award himself large year-end bonuses, and the he also restructured the operations of the lobster fishing service to retain cash without recording it as corporate income. Additional allegations leveled against him include him using business funds to buy personal vehicles and opening corporate credit lines which he subsequently drew down. In all, he was estimated to have deprived the businesses of $800,000, which he has been ordered to pay to back to his ex-wife.
Fairly dividing shared business assets in a divorce based on each party’s performance can quickly become complicated (as evidenced by the aforementioned case). Those needing to do so may be wise to enlist the services of an experienced attorney.
Source: Mount Desert Islander “Court finds for wife in $800k divorce dispute” Good, Mark, Aug. 02, 2017