When a divorce action involves ownership of a business, the Court must determine what will happen with the business. The first step is to determine the value of that business. An experienced family law attorney will help you hire the appropriate expert with the necessary qualifications to value the business. In a Wisconsin divorce case, the parties can agree on an expert o r the Court can name one expert to value the business. A party may also hire an independent expert to value the business. If the Court names the expert or if the parties agree to one, the parties then typically share the cost of the valuation.
The expert will provide a list of necessary documents, such as tax returns and profit/loss statements, which are needed in order to determine the business’ value. The owner or operator of the business will be required to turn over all of those documents. If there are assets of the business, like equipment, inventory, or vehicles, a separate expert or appraisal may be needed to determine the value of those assets.
Once the expert has determined a value of a business, the parties can use that information when dividing all of the assets in a divorce. If a party does not agree with the value, they are free to hire their own expert to conduct an evaluation. However, the Court ordered expert is usually given more deference at trial in terms of his or her opinion.
To schedule a free initial office consultation to discuss the valuation of a business in your divorce, please contact us at 414-258-1644 or visit us at Nelson, Krueger & Millenbach, LLC for further information.
-Alison H.S. Davis