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Contentious Divorce with a Business or Professional Practice in San Diego

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2022 | Professional Practice & Business Ownership

Are you approaching a contentious divorce with a business or professional practice in San Diego?  What do you need to know in order to protect your interests as a business owner?

There are generally only a few steps in the process of managing the asset of a business in a San Diego divorce.  However, the process itself and the legal skill of your attorney as you approach the challenges at each step in the process will have a significant impact on successfully accomplishing your goals.

A contentious divorce with a business or professional practice in San Diego can generally be avoided altogether if the company was formed prior to the marriage and no marital funds were used to support the company during the marriage.  In this example the business would be considered as the “separate” property of the business owner.  If the business was started or acquired during the course of the marriage it will be considered to be community property unless a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement specifies otherwise.  In many cases the asset in question is blended – part community property, part separate.  In these cases the challenge is arriving at a determination of the portion to be considered as community property.

If any portion of the business asset is considered to be community property the next step will be a valuation of the asset prior to property division.  There are many genuine ways to appraise or value a business asset and in a contentious divorce with a business or professional practice in San Diego each party has a significant incentive to present a higher or lower valuation.  The higher the valuation, the more the business owner will have to give their former spouse in order to keep their business interest.  Valuation often involves different experts from each side and in some cases the Court will appoint it’s own expert appraiser.  Once valuation is established before the Court the process of dividing the community interest in the business begins.  What are the strategies to offset your former spouse’s community interest in order to keep your company or practice?

It is important to note that pre-planning as long as possible prior to the divorce will have a substantial impact on the outcome in your case. This is why it is so important to work with the experienced, proven Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq if your divorce will include a business asset.  We invite you to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a safe, confidential and private consultation with one of our experienced and proven Certified Family Law Specialists.