Business Owners in Divorce
Missouri Property Division and Business Valuation Attorneys
When confronting the potentially traumatic and painful experience of divorce, having a smart, experienced advocate who can represent for your interests is paramount to the successful resolution of your case and preservation of your rights. The experience, resourcefulness, and diligence of your lawyer becomes even more critical in divorce cases where one or both spouses have business ownership interests.
Family law attorneys Robert N. Hamilton and Jennifer R. Piper have extensive knowledge and skill in representing St. Louis, Missouri, business owners in divorce. Our attorneys guide clients through complex property division and divorce issues with a focus on analyzing intricate legal details correctly and identifying strategies that effectively preserve our clients' interests.
Your Business Could Be Considered Marital Property in Divorce
Regardless of how it is titled, property acquired during the marriage is usually considered to be marital property, and is therefore subject to property division in divorce. This is true for businesses started by one or both spouses during the marriage, regardless of how the business is held or operated.
Proper Business Valuations Are Vital for Businesses Classified as Marital
When a business, or percentage of the business, is classified as marital property, it is necessary to obtain a comprehensive business valuation so that the baseline for property distribution discussions accurately reflects the true value of the business and the percentage of that value that is considered marital.
A complete and effective business valuation looks at the business as a whole:
- Business financial information: Our attorneys work with a network of business experts and specialists to review business financial information, such as accounts receivable, business tax returns (including payroll tax returns and individual tax returns), balance sheets and income statements, bank statements, real estate appraisals, and other critical financial documents.
- Business goodwill and other non-economic interests: We closely analyze that which is most critical to many businesses — reputation or goodwill of the business, client lists and client history, proprietary information, and other valuable information that play a critical role in the profitability and success of the business.
After a thorough analysis of the business, business valuators from either or both sides will make a recommendation to the court based upon the findings of the business valuation. This can be used in determinations made by the court or in negotiation of a property settlement agreement. When only one party wishes to continue operating the business, it may be possible to offset distribution of the business to one party with an equivalent asset (or assets) or for one party to buy the other party out.
Commingling of Marital and Separate Property
If a business that was started during the marriage was purchased with separate assets, and was intended to be separate property, it may be possible to keep the business out of any property settlement in divorce. Our ability to trace assets in order to determine if an asset was truly separate, marital, or separate yet commingled with marital property, can be crucial in determining how business assets should be handled in divorce.
Contact Our St. Louis Divorce Attorneys
Our Missouri business valuation and divorce lawyers are dedicated to the best interests of our clients and their children above all else. For an initial consultation about your case and how we can pursue a favorable resolution in your best interests, please contact the St. Louis law firm of Reinker, Hamilton & Piper LLC. Call 314-333-4140 and ask for us directly: Robert N. Hamilton and Jennifer R. Piper.