Divorce for Business Owners


For 30 years, Harvard-educated attorney Tanya Witt has successfully advised business owners. Protecting the business is an important legal goal when a business owner divorces. The spouse of a business owner can damage a business, its finances and its relationships with customers and employees. Our experienced divorce law firm can take steps to protect your business throughout the divorce process. Schedule a consultation to find out what we can do for you.

Experience – Advocacy – Commitment

At The Witt Law Firm, we are committed to helping parties through divorce proceedings involving businesses. There are many unique aspects to a divorce for business owners, including classifying and negotiating assets and income. For Chicago business owners, our experienced counsel can help with multiple solutions:

  • Pre-divorce planning
  • Post-nuptial agreements
  • Property division in lieu of maintenance
  • Setting income for purposes of support
  • Business valuations, appraisals
  • Cryptocurrency and digital assets
  • Arbitrator as decision maker


No two divorces are identical.  A divorce for business owners can have significant assets at stake. We tailor the divorce to each client’s circumstances.

Highly-Rated Chicago Divorce Lawyer

If you want the best Chicago divorce lawyer, look no further than The Witt Law Firm, P.C. We strive to provide the best legal services to our clients going through divorce.  Our awards include:

  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys – 10 Best Award
  • Attorney & Practice Magazine’s Top 10 – Top 10 Family Law Attorney
  • American Assoc. of Attorney Advocates – Top 10 Family Law Attorney
  • Avvvo – 10.0 out of 10.0 Top Attorney
  • Google – 5-Star Rating
  • Illinois Bar Association – Appointed to The Family Law Section Council
  • Illinois Bar Association – Appointed to The ARDC Committee
Man happy he hired The Witt Law Firm in his divorce for business owners

Issues Facing Business Owners Going Through Divorce

There are several issues that can arise when a business owner divorces

Marital Property vs. Non-Marital Property

First, the parties need to establish whether the business is marital property or non-marital property. If a spouse started the business during the marriage with marital funds, there is a presumption that it is a marital asset. Even if the business started before the marriage, the business may have “transmuted” into marital property during the marriage. Transmutation is a legal doctrine in Illinois divorce law regarding the classification of property.

Even if a spouse was never involved in the business, the spouse could have a legal claim to the business in a divorce for business owners. If the business is marital property, the spouse may be entitled to a buy-out as part of the divorce.

Illinois is an equitable distribution state, meaning under Illinois law marital assets are divided “equitably”. See 750 ILCS 5/503. The court takes multiple factors into consideration in deciding how to equitably divide marital assets. The Witt Law Firm has obtained a favorable division of assets for many clients. We are skilled, strong advocates and negotiators.

Valuing the Business

In a divorce all assets, including a business, need to be valued. A spouse and the court will require proof to support the valuation of a private business. The Witt Law Firm is experienced at successfully representing parties through the business valuation process in divorce. We work with business valuation professionals who understand the context of divorce.

Business Owner’s Income for Spousal Support and Child Support

Another potential issue is what the owner spouse’s income should be for purposes of maintenance (spousal support) and child support. Business owners often have at least some control over setting their compensation and the expenses of the business. Use of aggressive business expenses and depreciation can lower income on the tax returns. In Chicago divorces, a business owner’s income for purposes of calculating spousal support and child support may be higher than what is on a tax return.

Make Decisions With Expert Counsel

Protect Your Business With The Witt Law Firm

With high-net-worth divorces involving businesses, it is a comfort to have experienced legal counsel ensuring your assets are protected. Our team will thoroughly examine your situation to safeguard your business interests. The Witt Law Firm is here to walk you through each step of the process with sage advice that can help you navigate your divorce with grace and patience.

Do not mishandle your business when facing divorce. Skilled divorce attorney Tanya Witt will guide you through the process. Contact us for a consultation today to see what we can do for you.

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