Marriage looks different from one couple to another. One couple might have much property and assets included in the marriage, while others have limited assets, mostly renting property. No matter what the situation is, it is always vital to look at what is included in a marriage when a couple decides to end their union. This could mean sorting through a long laundry list of items, one of which could be a family business.
A privately held business could make for a long and difficult high asset divorce. Dealing with this asset during dissolution does not only complicate the process but also causes some issues to come to the surface. One might question how much the business is worth, whether there are any issues regarding double dipping with regards to the valuation of the business and support obligations and how is income reported by the spouse that owns and operates the business.
When considering the value of the business or how much it is actually worth, there are three methods to do this. The first is by looking at the assets of the business, the next is to look at the market and the final approach is to look at the income of the business. No matter which method is used, they all start with the analysis of the company’s financial statements. However, this is not where discovery stops. A spouse looking to uncover all financial information should dig further, especially if they are not involved in the day-to-day business operations.
This is where a valuation expert comes in handy. By obtaining access to financial records and the opportunity to tour the facilities and interview management, a clearer picture can be painted. Inadequate discovery leads to inaccurate valuation, which in turn results in property distribution issues.
A high asset divorce can mean dealing with a wide array of issues. Therefore, it is important to take the time to fully understand the process and what steps are necessary to take. This will help better protect your rights as you move forward with the divorce process.