Start-up culture can lead to complex divorces

For Pennsylvania couples, the end of a marriage carries with it an array of emotional, practical and financial concerns. If children are involved or a partnership has been long-lasting, it can be exceptionally difficult to disentangle all of the accumulated history of a marriage. However, these complexities can be exacerbated when dealing with a marriage with a high level of assets, including businesses, investments or extensive real estate holdings. High asset divorces can mean complex financial disputes and concerns.

One of the most common areas for divorces between people with high-powered careers is the tech industry and the start-up culture associated with it. Start-ups have great potential for failure, but they also hold the potential for a successful IPO or a sale to a larger company. However, in the period before a startup is fully monetized, it can be difficult to value it accurately.

This can be especially complex when one partner is more involved in the business but also when support from the other partner has been key. Even in Pennsylvania, where assets are divided in divorce according to principles of equitable distribution, all assets obtained or developed during the marriage are generally subject to division. When the main asset in a divorce is a start-up business, property division in a divorce could push a company toward a sale or it could result in a forced partnership.

When dealing with a high asset divorce, it is important to work with a team of professionals, including a financial adviser, an appraiser and a family law attorney. In many cases, this can lead to a negotiated settlement agreement that can then be submitted to the court for its approval.

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