Question 1: What if I own a business? Will my non-owner spouse receive one-half of my business?
Answer 1: All assets and debts associated with ownership in a business, whether as a sole proprietor or as a shareholder, are considered part of the marital estate. Just because the value of these assets are included in the estate does not mean that a former spouse will obtain an ownership interest in the business entity. In most circumstances the goal would be for the spouse who owns the business to retain full ownership interest in the business. Other assets would need to be allocated to the non-owner spouse in order to equitably distribute the assets of the marriage, taking into consideration what the business owner spouse will receive via the business assets.
Question 2: Can my spouse really be awarded more than 50% of our assets?
Answer 2: Yes, in Indiana it is possible, under certain circumstances, for one spouse to receive greater than 50% of the marital assets. There are certain statutory considerations that will determine whether an award of more than 50% is appropriate. A few of those considerations are whether one spouse had premarital assets, whether one spouse received an inheritance, or whether one spouse stayed home to raise children. None of these factors will automatically result in a larger division to one spouse. You should always discuss the facts of your case with an attorney to ascertain the likelihood of an unequal division in your case.