Candice Bell: Can your ex-spouse claim some of your company assets?

Hi, I’m Candice Bell, and I’m a lawyer here in the family law team at Turnbull Hill Lawyers.

As a business owner, you may have set up a company to protect some of your assets, and that can be a really wise thing to do. In family law proceedings though, those assets can still come into play and it’s important to know what role that company can play in the overall proceedings.

In your family law matter, you may find that your company can also become a party. What that can mean is, is that assets that you might have that form part of your company, may still also form part of that asset pool that’s to be divided between you and your ex-spouse. For example, your business might be a tire company. You’ve bought premises, and to protect that asset, the premises are owned by the company, but you run your business out of that warehouse.

That asset that while it’s owned by the company could still be considered in your overall property settlement as an asset that could be divided. While that company itself is the owner, in order for that asset to come in, it might be that that company needs to be joined or your ex-spouse seeks an order from a court that that happens.

What that could actually mean for you and your company is that then, that court has power to make orders that might be that you resign as a director, that your shareholding in the company or your interest in the business gets transferred to your ex-spouse. The court also has the power that they could order the sale of the warehouse or the sale of the business to realise that asset, to give something to your ex-spouse.

If you think that’s something that might apply to your business or you have company assets you might be concerned about, feel free to give us a call at Turnbull Hill Lawyers.

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