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Marital Property in Divorce | Dividing a Business in Divorce

The complication of dividing marital property may continue after dividing the marital estate. Besides dividing outstanding debt, if a business was acquired and/or financed during the marriage, this is yet another step in dividing marital property. Even if ownership was under the name of one spouse, Wisconsin still considers it marital property.

Similarly with marital assets, appraisals are an important factor in dividing a business in the divorce process. Appraisers will create a written report with details and the steps they’ve taken to come to the appropriate value. Obtaining a joint appraiser and splitting the cost again may be a better option than two appraisers. The value of the business will include the physical property, inventory of raw materials and finished products, bank accounts, customer lists, and accounts receivable. A professional practice, such as medical, legal, or architectural, will be assessed in the same manner.

The Institute of Business Appraisers and the American Society of Appraisers have specific standards for valuing businesses. Assumptions may need to be made about certain aspects of the business, but appraisers still follow a general guideline with the professional standards of the IBA and ASA. These institutes are put in place so variables won’t be excessive, and the values of each aspect will be relatively the same. For example, two appraisers assessing the same business may come to different values, but the difference between won’t be great.

Regardless of the size or type of business, it’s important to acquire an experienced attorney. At Hart Law Office, we understand the law and what it means for your business. Our knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorneys work with you and your spouse to achieve a fair distribution of property. Contact us for a free consultation.

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    Q: What is a divorce?

    A: A divorce is the legal termination of marriage. All states require a spouse to identify a legal reason for requesting a divorce when filing the divorce papers with the court. The reasons given when filing are referred to as the grounds for divorce.

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