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What issues do business owners face in a high value divorce?

Some married couples in Texas are also business partners. They both may have put a lot of hard work into ensuring their business is successful. Oftentimes, a family business is the most valuable asset a couple owns. Therefore, should the couple decide to divorce, they may want to see that they are treated fairly when it comes to property division and the business they have cultivated for years through the sweat of their brow.

When it comes to property division and a family business, a monetary value will need to be placed on the business. It can help to enlist the aid of a valuation expert. The parties should make the business's financial records available to the valuation expert.

The valuation expert may also want to visit the business in-person and talk to those managing the business. Keep in mind that state law varies when it comes to determining how much the business is a marital asset, especially if only one spouse owned the business before they got married. But, both spouses worked in the business afterwards.

It is also important that spouses do not "double dip." Again, while state law varies, in some situations, a judge may decide that a spouse should not be awarded spousal support based on their ex's income and also be awarded a share in the business at the same time. In addition, it is important to ensure that both spouses are not hiding assets when it comes to their business.

Sometimes, unscrupulous spouses may try to say they do not receive much income from the business or that the business has more debts than it truly does to have the upper-hand when it comes to the divorce process. Again, if a neutral valuation expert is consulted, he or she may be able to note these discrepancies, so that the true value of the business can be established.

Obtaining an accurate value of a family business is important when it comes to settling many divorce legal issues. This is especially true in a high value divorce where the business is one of the couple's largest assets. Business owners going through a divorce may want to work not just with a valuation expert, but also an attorney to ensure their rights to the business are protected.

Source: WealthManagement.com, "Three Pressing Issues for Business Owners Going Through a Divorce," Mark S. Gottlieb, Jan. 30, 2018

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