Business Owners and Executives
During a divorce, marital assets will have to be divided. When one or both spouses are business owners or executives, there may be special considerations related to the worth of these assets. Business valuation can be complicated, and it may require the input of expert appraisers or accountants. In some cases, for example, a business or professional practice may be listed only in one spouse's name, even if it is actually a marital asset. The Monmouth County high-asset divorce attorneys at Goldstein Law Group can guide their clients through this process, protecting their interests at every step of the way.Property Division for Business Owners and Executives
During divorce, each spouse can keep his or her separate property, but marital assets must be divided equitably. The process of dividing marital assets may vary depending on each spouse's profession and what financial and non-financial contributions each spouse made to the marriage. In some cases, there may be a valid premarital agreement about how property acquired during the marriage, including a business or professional practice, is to be split in the event of a divorce.
Often, property that was separate is transformed into marital property because the spouses exchanged gifts or commingled funds. In long marriages, it is very likely that both spouses have contributed to a business started by one spouse, even if the business is only in one spouse's name.
For example, a non-owning spouse often helps get a business or practice running, either by contributing money, doing the books, or taking on more responsibilities at home so that the other spouse has more time to devote to the business. When a non-owning spouse does the books to help a practice succeed, for instance, this is a contribution that must be assigned a value. Conversely, there are also circumstances in which the non-owning spouse may inaccurately try to claim a greater role in building a business during divorce.
If you or your spouse is a business owner or executive, it may be crucial to consult a divorce attorney with substantial experience in high net worth dissolutions that involve the division of a business or practice. An experienced attorney can help ensure that a business is valued in a logical way and help you understand the possible outcomes of different valuation methods. Moreover, an attorney will know which appraisers to work with to make sure the business or practice at issue is given its appropriate fair market value, including the value of its goodwill.
Some factors that the court will consider when evaluating the division of a business or practice include whether the business or practice was created during the marriage, whether the business will be sold or if one spouse should buy out the other, financial contributions by a non-owning spouse, other contributions by the spouse that may have helped a business or practice succeed, tax consequences, others' interests in the business, and the business' income.
Executives may have slightly different concerns during the property division of the divorce, particularly if they have benefits that have not vested, such as stock options, equity in the business, or retirement plans. A non-executive spouse may have a claim against any benefits that were accrued due to work that was performed during the marriage. Expert appraisers and accountants can be retained to assign a value to all job-related assets. Different methods can be used to value these assets.Consult a Monmouth County Attorney during a Divorce
If you are contemplating a divorce as a business owner or executive, the family law attorneys at the Goldstein Law Group can work for a fair division of your assets. They also have assisted clients across Middlesex County and in communities such as Old Bridge, Freehold, East Brunswick, and Manalapan. Contact us at 732-967-6777 or via our online form to set up an appointment with a Monmouth County lawyer.