Dividing Professional And Educational Assets
It is important to retain legal counsel that has years of experience in representing clients in divorce actions that have active and passive business interests, to protect that client from an opponent’s overstated or understated valuation.
This includes but is not limited to professional practices, cash businesses, closely held corporations, business reality, goodwill, account receivables, machinery, vehicles and other assets including inventory that needs to be equitably divided.
Typically, the actively engaged spouse in the business/professional practice will need to buy out the other more passively engaged spouse’s marital interest as part of a comprehensive divorce settlement agreement and/or from a court-ordered distribution after a trial. The values can usually be determined through expert testimony and through negotiation. Forensic accountants and business evaluators will be retained for such purposes and it will be necessary to match the business/professional practice with the proper expert that will testify to achieve the best results for our client.
Important note on marital property.
If the business/professional practice was acquired by one spouse before the marriage, what will be subject to division is not the business/practice itself, but its appreciation in value over the length of the marriage and the respective contributions made to same by the parties. If the business/professional practice was started during the marriage with the separate property (including a premarital degree or professional license) of either spouse, we will treat that spouse’s contribution as their separate property. Go to my Professional Licenses/Enhanced Earnings page for more information.
When it comes to Professional licenses or degrees acquired during the marriage, under the New York Domestic Relations law, academic degrees, professional licenses and occupational certificates have potential value as marital property, subject to division (equitable distribution) between the divorcing spouses. There are different methods of evaluating degrees and professional licenses. Essentially, the present value of the enhanced earning stream represented by the degree, professional license or certificate is what is subject to being equitably divided. We will retain one or more experts to express an opinion as to the value over a given period of time.
Experience here is what makes the difference in your case. I am lawyer Kurt Richards, and in more than 25 years, I have successfully represented more than 3,000 family law clients in Staten Island and New Jersey.
Contact us for a FREE consultation to learn your rights: 718-720-1000.