The Divorce Court May Award a Business to One Spouse even if Neither Spouse Wants the Business

In Rives, the divorce court characterized a queen bee breeding business as community property.  Husband, who had operated the business for many years and was highly respected in the field, testified in the divorce trial that he wished to retire and no longer wanted to operate the business.  Wife testified that she did not have the strength or skill to operate the business without Husband.  Over Husband’s divorce lawyer’s objection, the divorce court awarded him the business and ordered him to buy out Wife’s interest.  Husband’s divorce lawyer appealed arguing that the family law court should have ordered the business sold.

The Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the divorce court’s ruling, noting that the divorce court is “vested with considerable discretion” to determine whether or not to order the sale of a business.

In re Marriage of Rives (1982) 130 Cal.App.3d 138