We evaluate the relationship between family involvement, the likelihood of dividend payment, and the amounts of the dividends paid. Using a detailed database of 523 mostly non–listed Colombian companies (1996 to 2006), we found that majority family ownership has significant negative effects on the likelihood of dividend payment. Furthermore, family control through pyramidal structures significantly reduces the level of payouts. In addition, family involvement on the board positively and significantly increases the likelihood of dividend payment, even when the CEO is a member of the founding family. The presence of the founder has a negative, though weakly significant impact on the dividend payments made by firms. debt levels.