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Divorce and business

Specialist legal advice on divorce involving business interests

Going through a divorce or separation can be challenging enough – but when a business is involved, the process can become even more complicated. Clarke Willmott’s team of family lawyers are experts at providing practical advice to business owners and their spouses on the divorce process and the fair division of assets.

We understand that protecting the business is often the priority for business owners. We can advise you on how best to navigate your divorce settlement in the interests of your company and how to safeguard your business should your marriage breakdown in the future.

Our extensive experience includes advising entrepreneurs, owners, directors and shareholders of start-ups, partnerships, large companies and family businesses, in particular farming families.

Try our relationship breakdown tool

Our Parting Ways tool is a great first step in guiding you through the legalities of a relationship breakdown. If your marriage, civil partnership or co-habiting relationship has broken down irreparably, our free easy-to-use tool provides an overview of what you need to consider from a legal perspective.

It takes a few minutes to complete and you will receive a guide tailored to your responses. You will not be asked for any personal information unless you decide you would like to speak with one of our solicitors.

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What happens to a business in a divorce?

If you own or have an interest in a business, that business is an asset and its value will be considered by the courts when agreeing a divorce financial settlement.

However, a business is not a liquid asset and is therefore not treated in the same way as cash or investments. Extracting cash from the business can be difficult and there are likely to be tax implications.

Any business interests owned by either spouse, such as shares in a limited company and interest in a partnership will also be considered as part of the financial disclosure. In the case of a farming family, that could include the family home.

Only on rare occasions does divorce mean a business needs to be sold. What’s important is to get the right legal advice early on to mitigate any potential risk to the business, whilst also ensuring a fair outcome is reached.

Divorce settlement advice for business owners

Our specialist divorce solicitors can advise on how the business and its assets should be dealt with in a divorce settlement, including:

  • Obtaining a fair and accurate business valuation
  • Advising on financial claims made against the business
  • Removing a spouse who has a role in the business
  • Dividing a business where the divorcing spouses do not wish to remain business partners
  • Going to court to negotiate a settlement, if required

What sets Clarke Willmott apart when advising on divorce involving business interests is the firm-wide expertise our family law solicitors can draw on whenever it is needed, including specialists in commercial law and agricultural law.

Protecting your business against divorce

Planning ahead can significantly reduce the impact of divorce on a business. Our multi-disciplinary team of solicitors can help with:

  • Drawing up pre-nuptial agreements (or post nuptial agreements if you are already married) to help minimise future claims against your business
  • Providing guidance on protecting pre-marital assets – such as inherited land, property or equipment
  • Advising on the best way to manage both personal wealth and business interests in order to protect your assets from divorce
  • Advising on suitable business structures and trusts

Why our clients choose us

Our divorce and business clients choose us because we:

  • Have extensive commercial understanding and business acumen
  • Understand the unique dynamics of family businesses
  • Can access specialist legal expertise from across the firm
  • Are highly rated for family law in Legal 500 and Chambers Guide
  • Are members of Resolution and committed to its principles
  • Have trained mediators and collaborative lawyers on the team
  • Work efficiently to keep costs down

Contact a specialist divorce and business solicitor

For specialist legal advice on a divorce involving a business or protecting your business from divorce, call 0800 422 0123 or get in touch online to arrange a confidential initial consultation.

Our divorce and family law solicitors are based in LondonManchesterBristolCardiffBirminghamSouthampton and Taunton.

Your key contacts

Rayner Grice


Rayner advises on the issues that arise for an individual following the breakdown of a relationship in relation to divorce/civil partnership dissolution, their financial affairs and their children.
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Adam Maguire


Adam specialises in divorce and family law. He advises clients regarding all aspects of private family law including cohabitation, separation, divorce and related financial issues, disputes concerning children and nuptial agreements.
View profile for Adam Maguire >

Clare Webb


Clare has built her practice with a commitment to helping her clients resolve their issues in a constructive and conciliatory way. In doing so, she will always have regard to the longterm hopes and aspirations for the family as a whole, whilst of course protecting her client’s interest.
View profile for Clare Webb >

Philippa Yeo


Philippa is committed to helping couples navigate all aspects of the legal process on the breakdown of their relationship in a pragmatic, collaborative and family-focused way including supporting couples to reach arrangements for their children and achieve healthy future co-parenting relationships.
View profile for Philippa Yeo >

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