Property division begins with valuation

Business owners in Pennsylvania may consider their business ventures to be their largest assets. Thus, battling over businesses during property division is not uncommon. A couple of tips may help with navigating this aspect of a divorce proceeding.

First, obtaining a valuation of the business as soon as possible is critical. Having a precise value of the business interests is necessary prior to engaging in informal negotiations. This ensures that the buyout that takes place between the two spouses is equitable.

An appraiser can complete the valuation, which includes determining the value of computers and other equipment, the building and other real estate holdings. However, there may be some missing pieces of financial information that have to be taken into consideration first. In this situation, enlisting the help of a forensic account is critical for scrutinizing business financial data along with personal financial information. This ensures that the final valuation number is as accurate as possible during property division.

If two spouses in Pennsylvania are willing to find common ground, they may be able to complete property division, including their business, through negotiations. They may also be able to address their issues using divorce mediation, an alternative to divorce litigation that is typically more amicable than going to trial. Otherwise, the spouses will have to take their divorce issues to a judge, who will make the final decisions regarding the splitting of their assets. Unfortunately, the judge's determinations may not be in alignment with one or both parties' desires and expectations.

Source: forbes.com, "How Divorcing Women Entrepreneurs Can Get What They Deserve", Kerry Hannon Log, Nov. 2, 2017

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