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Complex Financial Issues In Divorce


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Complex Financial Issues in an Arizona Divorce Case

Divorces for high net worth individuals and couples with significant financial assets will commonly have additional complex issues that require a more in-depth analysis.  While every divorce involves the division of property and finances, some cases involce certain assets that can be complicated to divide and require additional time and attention to determine the nature and extent of the asset.

Examples of Assets and Circumstances in a Complex Divorce Case:

  • Ownership interest in a business or partnership
  • Stock options and deferred compensation
  • Self-employed spouse with high earnings
  • Multiple homes and rental properties
  • Assets with both sole and separate and community components
  • Collectibles and memorabilia

These assets and circumstances will typically require the involvement of complicated calculations, differing valuation methods, and analysis and applicability of recent case law. Additionally, many times outside services are required such as a Business Evaluator, Forensic Accountant, Special Master, Qualified Domestic Relations Order Expert, and Certified Public Account. It is critical to hire a family law attorney that has the experience and skills to handle complex divorce issues.

Dividing a Community Business

A divorce can affect a business in several ways, especially if the business was created during the marriage or if the ownership interest was acquired during the marriage. Generally, a business created during the marriage will be community property and both spouses would have an equal interest in the business. In order to divide the business, you will first need to determine how much the business is worth.

The business will commonly need to be valued and appraised by a business valuator, also called a business appraiser or forensic accountant. The business valuator can be agreed-upon by the spouses, or each spouse can choose to get their own appraisal of the business. The business valuator will analyze all the business records, interview the parties and employees, and issue a detailed report containing the value of the business. The complexity and the time needed to complete the valuation is determined by the type and nature of the business, but generally the business valuation will take several months to complete.

Once a value is determined, the manner in which the business will be divided will need to be resolved. There are many options when it comes to dividing a business including, providing an offset to the spouse for their ownership interest, buying out the spouse’s ownership interest, retaining joint ownership after the divorce, or breaking-up and dissolving the business. The option that will work best for your situation will depend on the type of business, the value, wishes of the other spouse, and other assets available in the marriage.

Receive Help from an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

At the Law Office of Austin White, we are committed to helping our clients who own businesses or have complex financial issues. Arizona family law attorney, Austin White, is experienced and skilled in handling complex divorces and has helped numerous clients achieve favorable outcomes. Call (480) 788-0633 or contact us online here to schedule your FREE consultation.