What Happens to My Business in a North County Divorce?

Pierre Domercq Professional Practice & Business Ownership

Many clients have asked “what happens to my business in a North County divorce? Divorce cases involving business ownership or a professional practice are quite complex and require expert and experienced legal representation. The seasoned divorce attorneys at Burke & Domercq have decades of trial experience and insight into these cases.
The first question is whether or not you owned the business interest or professional practice prior to entering the marriage? If you did, this could make it separate property, or at least a substantial portion of it. If you acquired or started your business or professional practice during the course of the marriage your ownership interest is considered to be “community property” and it must be divided according to California family law.
“Divided” in these cases usually means “offset” with another asset, such as the equity in the family home, investement or savings accounts. The first step is to establish the value of your business ownership interest. The specific valuation assigned in corporate documents will not suffice. In most cases independent expert opinon(s) must be entered into evidence.
We negotiate with opposing counsel in order to reach an agreed upon valuation of the business interest. In some cases, mediation may be required to resolve this issue. If the parties cannot reach agreement the matter must be tried before your Judge.
Once the valuation of the business ownership interest is established it must be “divided” between the parties under community property law. This can be as simple as releasing interest in one community asset in order to “offset” your spouse’s community interest in the business. In many cases our attorneys work creatively to combine assets, stocks or other investments, retirement accounts and even spousal support in order to reach a fair settlement that meets our client’s own goals and objectives.
If you own a business or professional practice and are considering or beginning a divorce in Carlsbad or North County we invite you to contact us or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced family law attorneys. Learn how to protect the viability and on-going business operations of your company or practice as well as all the hard work, time and money you’ve poured into it over the years.