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DBH Lawyers

- 10 May 2017
  • Commercial Law

  • Family Law

I’m divorcing and I run a business with my spouse. Can I force them out?

Many of our clients work in family businesses, either as a tradie or in a small business. Most of them have a spouse who also works in the business.

If you have separated or are thinking of separating and run a family business, it is vital that you get legal and accounting advice as soon as possible.

When you separate, both of you will be anxious to make sure that your interest in the business is recognised as part of any property settlement. If one of you is a tradie, the other may do the books. You may be concerned to make sure that all the income (and value) of the business is properly accounted for.

In the short term, your spouse may need to stay involved in the business to help keep it running.

You should make sure that you have copies of the business records. That may involve making photocopies, copying computer records and keeping track of passwords. All your records should be up to date. Avoid cash in hand work.

If it is impossible to keep working with your spouse, we can help you to negotiate for them to step back from the business.

If having you both involved is affecting staff or customers, or there is a risk of assets or money being removed, we can help you go to court to get an order to remove them.

You will need a well prepared and expert case. Recently a judge in the family court found that the spouse was essential to the running of the business, and let them stay on.  Read about this case here.


The value of a business is part of your assets when you settle your property. Valuing a business can be complicated. DBH Family Lawyers can help you with ensuring the proper value of your business is brought into account.

If you are going through a similar situation and would like to get some advice, contact DBH Family Lawyers today on 1800 324 324 or send us a message.