Your spouse has never worked. When you met, you had just started your business and your spouse was still in college. You got married as soon as they graduated, and it wasn’t long before you started a family. Your spouse stayed home with the kids and has never worked outside the home.

Over the last ten years, your business has massively grown until it now earns over $1 million per month. Not only is it wildly successful, but it’s something you consider to be your doing alone. You were happy to be married, of course, but your spouse never worked a day in their life and certainly didn’t work at your company. 

Now you’re going to get divorced. Is your ex entitled to some of that money or a share of the business, despite the fact that you think of it as entirely your own? 

Yes, they certainly are. Income is a marital asset. This applies to couples who make millions per year and those living at the poverty line. The amounts don’t matter. If you earned money as a couple while you were married, regardless of who technically earned it, that’s a marital asset that will get split between the two of you according to the usual rules unless you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that says otherwise.

Additionally, one thing that the court considers is the standard of living you and your spouse enjoyed while married. You may think that you alone are responsible for that standard of living, but the court still thinks of it as something that applies to both of you. They may try to divide assets so that your ex can continue to have a comparable standard after the divorce. 

Money issues often grow contentious during a divorce. Be sure you understand your legal rights. Talk to an experienced advocate about your concerns, your options and your plans.