How to Get a Divorce: Four Tips for People Who Are Self-Employed
It can be intimidating to face a divorce when one spouse is a self-employed business owner. Every divorce in Georgia requires both parties to present detailed documents and have competent representation to reach successful outcomes. But when self-employment is involved, there are extra details both sides must think through.
To best prepare for your divorce either as the self-employed spouse or the non-self-employed spouse, follow these four helpful tips:
Divorce Tip #1: Gather Business Documents as Early as Possible
Self-employed business owners in the process of getting a divorce must provide several years’ worth of business-related documents to the court or their spouse, such as income tax returns, financial statements, (i.e., balance sheets, profit and loss statements, general ledgers, etc.), and other pertinent business documentation.
If you are a self-employed business owner, gather as much information as possible about your business to present to your family law attorney. The more information you can provide to your lawyer early in the process, the better prepared they can be prepared to fight for you and your business.
If you are the non-employed spouse, try to provide as many documents as possible. Your attorney will work to obtain all additional relevant documents from your spouse as the process continues.
Divorce Tip #2: Retain a Business Valuation Expert
It is important to learn what you or your spouse’s business is worth. In many divorce cases, the court may consider a self-employed business to have marital value, making it subject to division between spouses. A business valuation expert can help determine what the business is worth to prevent either party from exaggerating or downplaying its actual value.
Divorce Tip #3: Accurately Complete the Financial Disclosure
All litigants in cases involving financial issues must prepare a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit (“DRFA”) that outlines that party’s income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. If you are self-employed, then it is crucial that you work with an experienced attorney who can help you accurately portray your self-employment income in accordance with Georgia law. Self-employed litigants who provide false or inaccurate information will likely lose credibility in the eyes of the court, which can significantly affect their divorce outcomes. Judges can rule against a non-credible spouse in areas like property division.
Divorce Tip #4: Partner with an Experienced Divorce Attorney
Whether you are the self-employed spouse or not, it is necessary to partner with a seasoned family law attorney in cases involving self-employment. As you search for the right divorce lawyer to represent you, understand how well-versed each attorney is in cases like yours.
The attorneys at Rubin Family Law are highly experienced in cases that involve self-employment and business ownership.