High Asset Divorce
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High Asset Divorce & Divorce Asset Division
At Tsai Law Company, our experienced Family Law Lawyers have decades of experience in the division of business assets for high net worth divorce cases in Washington State. We provide asset protection from divorce and can provide an evaluation of business assets. Our legal services include obtaining business valuations from qualified experts, dividing assets, and protecting your assets. We can help you minimize costs and protect your business when it comes to splitting assets in divorce.
Division of a business asset in divorce requires special analysis regarding the type of business and income generated therefrom. Many times, the percentage of ownership interest and specific structure of the business may have an impact on how the business is valued. Usually, if your business is successful and generating income beyond the expenses required to run the business, there can be a value assigned by the Court beyond just the tangible assets of the business itself. This is true regardless of whether the business is selling goods or services.
It is extremely important not to overlook or take for granted just the income being generated from a business in a divorce or legal separation proceeding. The term “Goodwill” applies to some businesses that have value beyond just the tangible assets owned by the business. Goodwill has been described as a marital asset that is inseparable from the business and cannot be disposed of separately from the business. Chesterfield v. Nash, 96 Wn. App. 103 (1999).
Washington State Courts have also carved out specific factors for the type of business being valued. For example, for a professional business, the existence of professional goodwill is determined by considering such factors as the professional’s age; health; past earning power; reputation in the community for judgment, skill, and knowledge; and comparative professional success. If goodwill is determined to exist, it is valued according to accepted accounting methods. Marriage of Fleege, 91 Wn.2d 324 (1979).