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When Your Ex-Spouse Torpedoes the Family Business During Your Divorce


Dividing marital property in a divorce tends to make all parties involved poorer, if it changes their financial situation in any substantial way.  Anyone complaining on the Internet that his ex-wife is getting a free ride at his expense would probably change his tune if you actually got to look at his ex-wife’s bank statements.  Everyone takes a financial hit when you divide the couple’s bank accounts, the value of the marital home, and the family business, and that is when both parties honor their commitment to having an amicable divorce and a peaceful co-parenting relationship.  Situations where one spouse intentionally sabotages the value of the marital property during or just before the divorce process are common enough that Florida law has a name for them: marital misconduct.  In the worst cases, though, both spouses adopt a scorched earth strategy of depleting marital assets to the point that it is almost impossible for the court to make findings about equitable distribution.  If your divorce case has been characterized by you and your spouse trying to hurt each other in the pocketbook, contact a South Florida divorce lawyer.

The Spring Manufacturing Company Whose Owners Went Unhinged During Their Divorce

Marco and Andrea married in 2000 and founded a spring manufacturing company, of which Andrea owned 51 percent and Marco owned 49 percent.  They ran the company as equal partners until their triplets were born, after which time Andrea reduced her involvement in the company’s operations.  When Marco filed for divorce in 2016, Andrea removed $40,000 from the company’s account and moved the funds to an account to which Marco did not have access.  In retaliation, Marco changed the locks to the company’s warehouse and office.  He removed Andrea’s name from the business account and used company funds to rent a four-bedroom house for himself.  Marco also opened up a rival company with a similar name to the one he had operated with Andrea, and he took equipment from the old business to use for the new business.

Eventually, the court appointed John Sundeman as a receiver to be in charge of the company in place of Marco and Andrea.  Sundeman held separate meetings with Marco and Andrea, and the parties gave conflicting accounts about how much money and equipment the other had taken from the family business.  The company’s accounting records were in such disarray that Sundeman could not tell based solely on the paperwork.  Sundeman recommended dissolving the company and splitting its assets equally between Marco and Andrea, but Marco filed a series of motions objecting to this.  Only after Sundeman had removed Andrea from the company and the court had threatened Marco with incarceration did either party cooperate with Sundeman.

Contact Us for Help Today

A Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you move on with your family business, even if the family that founded it is falling apart.  Contact Schwartz | White for help today.



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