You’ve decided to get divorced, maybe you have talked to your spouse about it, and want to do it amicably. Washington state law states that the assets are to be divided equitably between the spouses; this means that it is not necessarily a 50/50 split. The first step is to take stock of the assets that you both own, whether in your sole name, your spouse’s name, or owned jointly.
Banking, investment and 401(k) savings plans are obviously pretty easy to determine a current value for.
Other assets, such as real property, pensions, unvested RSUs and self-owned businesses require valuation of some kind. In these cases, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney.
Just as your home and real estate properties are valued at the time of divorce, so too is your business. This occurs either at the date of settlement or date of trial in the unlikely event it comes down to that (only 1-2% of cases go to trial) and, unless you are planning to sell your business, it needs to reflect what the company is worth with you running it.
The timing of getting your business valued is very important. If it is valued too early, you may be compelled to produce a report that you don’t agree with, and further, you may need to have a second report done to update the earlier report.
And you need the right expert to value your business. There are multiple ways to value businesses but divorce is a special area that requires an expert who knows that area. You don’t want a business broker valuing it as that value is likely to be too high. There are well respected experts who value businesses just for a divorce and you will want one of them.
Even if you are contemplating an amicable divorce, consulting an attorney prior to taking steps to have your business valued can save you money in the long-run. At Molly B. Kenny, we apply our decades of divorce finance and asset valuation experience to help you navigate the legal hurdles such that your money is used wisely throughout the process, and you end up with an equitable and enforceable division of assets. Reach out to our law office in Bellevue, Washington, today.