What happens when one of the spouses owns an interest in a closely-held business or a professional practice during a Columbus Ohio divorce? What are the central issues in these cases?
The primary concern in divorces that include substantial assets such as a business ownership interest or a professional practice is to obtain a fair and accurate valuation of the marital interest in that entity. The separation agreement requires a transparent, full and accurate disclosure of all assets, and this includes the ownership interest in a business or profession. Unfortunately, there are several strategies that attempt to seriously undermine the valuation process in order to reduce the exposure of the business owner or professional.
For example, the operating agreement or corporate documents may establish a specific valuation. This value may or may not reflect the actual value of the marital interest in that asset. The best way to obtain a fair and accurate valuation of a business interest is to engage an independent and expert third party with experience in the market niche of the entity. The expert will often use multiple methods to best establish a valuation. The best method of valuation may depend on the field/industry in which the business or professional is operating. Often an evaluation includes industry information that is critical to the valuation, and which only a qualified business appraiser will access and utilize in the valuation.
Once the valuation of the spouse’s interest has been established and agreed upon, the division of the value of that asset becomes part of the negotiations required for settlement. There are many ways to offset the business valuation without forcing a sale or giving up ownership or control of a business asset or interest. As a Certified Specialist in Ohio family law, and a Collaborative Divorce professional, I work to ensure that a qualified expert is retained to undertake the valuation so that a fair and accurate valuation is established, and then support the best interests of my client within the context of the collaborative divorce or dissolution process.
If you are concerned about how a business interest or professional practice will be handled in a Columbus Ohio divorce, contact me to schedule an appointment at 614-764-0423. I invite you to review the comments of my clients, and my years of successful experience in these matters.