Business Valuations and Divorce
In every Massachusetts divorce, marital assets must be divided equitably. Assets vary widely in form. Everything from a savings account to a business can be considered a marital asset for divorce purposes. To fairly divide your assets, you will need to determine their value. While the value of many assets can be quickly ascertained to a degree of accuracy sufficient for divorce, valuing a business is a little trickier. A business is often a large asset, one that should be handled very carefully in a divorce. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state, meaning all marital assets must be divided fairly upon divorce.
The value of a business can be determined a number of ways. Typically, your divorce mediator or attorney will enlist the services of a qualified business appraiser familiar with divorce law. The appraiser will need to gather and review documents such as financial statements, tax returns, asset and inventory lists, statements of accounts receivable, shareholder information, and loan promissory notes. A business is generally valued by its income, its total net value, or in comparison to similar businesses on the market. The approach the appraiser will take will depend, in part, on the nature of the business. For each approach, there are several methods with which the appraisal can be carried out. Because there are so many ways to carry out the valuation, it is crucial to have an experienced business appraiser handle it.
Properly valuing your business interests is an important step in fairly dividing your assets. This can be a time-consuming part of the divorce process, however, if done thoroughly, it can provide an accurate assessment of the value. This gives you the information needed to commence the equitable distribution of your property. If business interests are an issue in your divorce, consider using a highly skilled divorce mediator who has vast experience in handling complex financial asset division cases. You may have your business interests valued on your own, but having a mediator assist you with this step can ensure any special considerations regarding your divorce are taken into account. He or she can also help you and your spouse fairly divide your property.
Are you going through a divorce and have concerns about protecting your business interests? If so, Mediation Advantage Services can help you. Experienced in complex divorce mediation, Polly A. Tatum can help you preserve your assets through non-adversarial divorce mediation. Our firm serves those across Worcester County as well as across Massachusetts. Call our Worcester office at (508) 795-1557, fill out our online form, today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free guide for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.