Hi. I’m Carter Allen, lead attorney at Holcomb Law. And today, I’d like to talk to you about how businesses are treated in divorces. Like many assets in a divorce, such as bank accounts, automobiles, and of course, houses, businesses owned by one or both spouses are assets which need to be divided during the process known as equitable distribution. But before a business can be divided, the true value of it must be made known. If we were determining the value of a house, we would employ the services of an individual known as an appraiser. Anybody who’s ever shopped for or purchased a home is likely familiar with the work of an appraiser.
Well, when the value of a business needs to be determined, the services of an individual known as a business valuator are employed. This business valuator will come to the fiscal place of business and conduct a study of all of the elements of that business from valuing tangible assets, calculating their depreciation, evaluating accounts receivable and accounts payable, even valuing any inventory on hand. The valuator will also talk to the bookkeeper and accountant responsible for all of the balance sheets and tax issues at the business. At the end of the process, the valuator will issue a report to the parties and likely the court, giving their opinion on the value of the business.
Sometimes the parties do not agree on the valuation or even the valuator and want to get a second opinion. If that happens, the lawyers argue over which valuation is more representative of the true value of the business, and that’s where the real fun begins. This can all be a somewhat lengthy process, and admittedly, a bit invasive, like an audit. So you can see this can be a daunting prospect, which you should never try to handle alone. That’s why the professionals at Holcomb Law stand ready to ensure that you get that which you deserve. Give us a call today.