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Divorce and the Family Business

posted May 7, 2012, 12:30 PM by Andrew Kenney   [ updated May 7, 2012, 12:32 PM by Michael Vosilla ]

Last week, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled in Cesar v. Sundelin (11-P-351) that in dividing a marital estate that includes a family business, a Probate Court judge has the authority to enjoin the party that no longer will have any ownership interest in the business from operating a competing business.  In so ruling, the Court followed precedent which states that good will is property and a valuable asset to a business.  As such, the good will of a business is part of the marital estate subject to equitable distribution, and a Probate Court judge may exercise his or her equitable authority to effect the distribution.  However, any such non-compete order relative to divorcing spouses must be no broader than necessary to protect the good will of the business.

If you would like to discuss this recent decision and how it may apply to your case, please contact one of the qualified family law attorneys at LaFountain & Wollman, P.C. for a consultation.  (617) 926-8944 or

About the Author
Attorney Nicholas J. LaFountain has extensive experience litigating and negotiating civil disputes of many types. He has been successfully representing clients in the courtroom since 2004.