San Bernardino Divorce Attorney

Owning your own business can be incredibly challenging and rewarding. However, your business can potentially become a major point of contention when it comes to divorce. Depending on how and when you started your business and your spouse’s contributions to the business while married, your business assets could be up for division in a divorce. A San Bernardino divorce attorney can help you determine the best way of separating your business from divorce.

Divorce Representation for Business Owners in San Bernardino

At the Law Offices of Schwartz & Godbey, our team has years of experience handling difficult divorce cases, including those with complex business ownership questions. We understand that you want to protect the time and investment you have put into your business from your divorce proceedings, and the future of your business may be uncertain due to the breakdown of your marriage. We have the resources to conduct a detailed financial investigation and a network of expert witnesses we can consult to assist in your case.

You can expect compassionate and responsive legal counsel from Attorney Catherine Schwartz and her team. With more than 30 years of practical legal experience in civil and criminal law, our firm has the ability to handle the most difficult business ownership disputes in divorce. As your San Bernardino divorce attorneys, we will help you navigate the difficult legal proceedings you face and answer any questions you might have along the way.

California’s Community Property Law

California upholds a very clear community property statute regarding divorce. When a married couple decides to divorce, any property they acquired during their marriage becomes community property. All community property in a California divorce is subject to strict 50/50 division. In some cases, divorcing spouses may “trade” assets of equivalent value to reach a 50/50 settlement. In other cases, the divorcing spouses may need to liquidate certain assets and split the proceeds to satisfy their property division requirements.

This community property statute can cause serious problems for business owners heading for divorce. If a business qualifies as community property, then each spouse owns 50% of the business, regardless of which spouse started and/or managed it. If one spouse were to demand their share of the business value in divorce, it could cripple the business’s finances.  Likewise, it could seriously damage the finances of the spouse who retains control over the business.

Common Issues With Business Ownership in Divorce

It’s not uncommon for a divorcing spouse to challenge their partner in divorce proceedings when it comes to business ownership. Even if the other spouse did not actively contribute to running the business or working as an employee, it doesn’t mean they will leave empty handed. Their contributions to the household and family are enough to justify a community property claim in divorce. They may also argue ownership if they helped their spouse acquire startup funding or otherwise assisted in creating their business. Your San Bernardino divorce attorney can help you uncover the documents and records you may need to establish a timeline and resolve ownership disputes like these.

One key consideration that many divorcing individuals overlook in business disputes is tax liability. Business ownership comes with significant tax obligations, as would a payout from a spouse compensating your share of a business designated as community property. A San Bernardino divorce attorney can potentially consult a tax professional to help you understand the future tax implications of your divorce’s property division proceedings.

It is also possible for spouses to remain joint business partners following their divorce. This can be very complicated, especially if either or both of the spouses have comingled their personal assets and property with running their business. However, legal counsel from an experienced San Bernardino divorce lawyer can help you overcome these difficult financial questions and potentially reach a mutually agreeable resolution to your business ownership questions.

How Can an Attorney Help?

It may be possible to argue that your business assets are your own separate property if you owned the business prior to marrying and your spouse never contributed to the business in any way. However, your spouse would still have a legal claim over the profits you enjoyed from the business while married. Their contributions to the household and family enabled you to keep running your business successfully. Your attorney can help you determine whether your business is subject to division in divorce and answer complicated business ownership questions like these.

In most cases, business ownership in divorce is resolved by one spouse buying out the other spouse’s claim on the business. Your San Bernardino divorce lawyer can help you gather the documentation you will need to supply in your case. It may also be necessary to consult with expert witnesses such as financial advisors and forensic accounts to establish business ownership rights and clarify difficult financial questions.

An experienced San Bernardino divorce attorney can help you establish your business ownership rights and protect business assets from your divorce. Mediation is often the best route toward resolving complex business ownership disputes in divorce, and your attorney can help you prepare for the mediation sessions ahead until you reach a desirable agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Find Your Legal Representative Now

Business ownership in divorce can create many difficult legal issues. If you have concerns about your business ownership rights as you approach your divorce proceedings, call our office. One of the best things to do is reach out to an experienced San Bernardino divorce attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. The sooner you start building your divorce case, the sooner your San Bernardino divorce lawyer can coordinate expert witness testimony or mediation services to assist you in resolving your divorce.

At the Law Offices of Schwartz & Godbey, we can provide the detail-oriented and responsive legal counsel you need to handle your divorce proceedings more confidently. We will conduct whatever investigation is necessary to establish your business ownership rights and help you reach a speedy and satisfactory conclusion to your divorce case. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with an experienced San Bernardino divorce attorney.




Catherine was the first lawyer I’ve met who actually said and completed what she told me she would do. I’ve never written a review for anything before this but I truly feel it deserves to be heard. This law group stepped up and got the job done. I am extremely thankful for the diligent and caring effort that was put into my case and I never felt I was being taken advantage of or left in the dark about my case. I’ve experience other lawyers that have only had their best interest in mind and took advantage of me. Catherine and her group always were thoughtful and caring about my case as small as it was. I’m forever thankful for their compassion and hard work.