In many divorce situations, there is a small business involved and one spouse runs the business, Toto says. Assuming the business is a marital asset, the spouse who doesn't run the business typically expects to be compensated for his or her share of the business. But in an economic downturn, the business may not be valued as highly as it would have been a few years ago or may be valued a few years from now. And the business may not have the assets to pay a divorce settlement without going under. That's why Toto recommends patience.
"It's in both spouses' best interests to make sure the business survives," he says. "You might have to allow flexibility, such as accepting an installment payment or some other type of payment. When you have illiquid assets such as a family-owned business, there needs to be patience on the part of both spouses to reach an agreeable settlement."