Written By: Lenorae C. Atter
As a family law attorney in Jacksonville, Florida, I handle a number of different divorce cases. The issues are always different because individuals and their assets, debts, businesses, incomes and matters related to their children are always different. One thing I have noticed is the surprise of my clients when they discover a business that was started during the marriage is actually a marital asset or liability, depending on the company’s solvency.
In order to define the asset/liability, it is important to recognize what the business is and if the business is solely dependent on the spouse(s) work. A business valuation is typically a good idea, so that an outside, neutral party can determine the actual value of the property.
The other factor in determining the actual income of the parties relies on getting the business information since a number of business owners pay personal things from their business accounts. These accounts are all discoverable during the divorce proceedings, so both sides are on equal footing throughout the process.
Multiple financial actions, businesses and assets, is a great reason to incorporate a neutral financial planner/advisor into the right types of divorce proceedings. One previously mentioned in my blog was Collaborative Law, which uses a neutral financial advisor to assist the clients in reaching an amicable resolution to the divorce.