Valuing a Marital Business
Under Florida law, each spouse is entitled to an equitable distribution of all marital assets and all marital liabilities. Equitable distribution means a fair distribution of the marital assets and liabilities. Unless a party can show otherwise, there is a presumption that an asset owned by a party during a marriage is a marital asset. Essentially, a court will classify properties (assets) as either marital,or non-marital, place a fair market value on the properties, and then distribute the properties amongst the spouses. The value typically used will be the fair market value as of the date of separation. Unlike traditional marital assets, businesses are more difficult to equitably divide, because of the difficulty in valuing these businesses.
Often times, the issue arises of how to equitably distribute a marital business, which may be owned and operated by either spouse, or both spouses together. Equitably dividing a marital business can quickly become a hotly contested dispute as parties frequently disagree as to which business valuation method should be used, and what the appropriate value of the business should be. Placing a specific dollar amount on a spouse's equitable interest in a marital business can prove to be quite difficult. For this reason, spouses often come up with vastly different valuation figures using the same method, or different valuation methods.
Often times experts are retained to value the business interests, and often times these experts can present vastly different values for the same business. The Coral Gables divorce attorneys at Richard A. Schurr, P.A. have represented the interests of many clients in complex, high-net worth Florida divorce cases, and many of these cases involve marital business interests with business owners seeking to safeguard their business from having to be sold in order to equitably divide their value.
With Mr. Schurr's background in tax, finance, financial planning, forensic accounting, and business we are able to assist you in protecting your interest in a marital business as well as help you select the appropriate valuation technique and/or valuation expert. We can also assist you with determining the best strategy for dealing with such complicated issues, including income tax consequences and asset protection concerns. Please contact our Coral Gables / Miami offices to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.