Divorces for people who own businesses are different from those of wage earners.
First of all, businesses often have cash income which is not declared on
tax returns. This makes it difficult to estimate or trace the cash.
Businesses are assets, frequently subject to equitable distribution (property
division) as marital property. In order to come to an agreement, especially
with a privately held small business, the value of the company has to
be determined. There is often a big difference in the values claimed by
Forensic accountants frequently have to be consulted to determine the value
of the entity. Cash businesses such as restaurants (and even medical and
legal practices) are particularly hard to evaluate. This creates a need
to examine lifestyle factors, such as expenses and checking accounts to
determine accurate and fair figures for value.
Shares in a business are often not transferable. Then a spouses' share
of the value has to be distributed from other marital assets. In addition,
some businesses were started before the marriage, creating both separate
and marital property.
My client had been married to her husband for 12 years. They had tried
to have children early on in the marriage, but had no luck. A few months
ago my client discussed once again with her husband that her biological
clock was ticking, and she really wanted to try again to have a child.
He responded he no longer wanted to have children. He had made this very
important decision, but never told her. She felt betrayed, and was devastated.
She was hurt, angry, and decided to divorce.
She felt her husband had wrecked her life and killed her chance to have
a child. Her husband was a successful pharmaceutical patent attorney and
had built a very lucrative practice during their marriage, which my client
had contributed to greatly. The success and growth of his practice was
largely due to her marketing and media expertise.
When she hired me to negotiate her divorce. I told her she was clearly
entitled to a substantial portion of the value of his law practice. I
brought in my team of experts to investigate and evaluate. When negotiating,
her husband fought hard to give my client NOTHING from his business. But
I fought equally as hard during my negotiations with his lawyer to get
my client what she rightfully deserved! We prevailed and she got her fair
portion of his business value.
If you have questions about your family business and what you’ll
be entitled to in a divorce, call me. With over 35 years of experience
and skilled divorce negotiation skills, I will get you what you deserve.
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