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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7
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IL divorce lawyerWhen getting a divorce, one serious concern that will appear for those who own a family business, or a small business in general, is how to divide it, or even if division is necessary. Illinois law on the subject can get confusing, so it may be a good idea to consult an experienced attorney on the subject before moving forward with asset division.

Obtaining a Business Valuation

One of the first steps that can help a couple decide what to do with a family business is to obtain a business valuation, usually through an accountant or licensed appraiser. Without an accurate estimate of how much a business costs, one cannot accurately tell how the rest of the marital estate must be divided in order to keep a business in one piece, or how much must be offset if the business is to be sold and its profits and equity divided. There are, however, multiple different ways to accurately value a business, depending on the type of method used - the two most common in divorce-related cases are the comparable model and the asset valuation model.

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Posted on in Business Valuation

Illinois divorce attorneyWhen a couple decides to divorce, the assets and debts accumulated during their marriage will be equitably distributed to each party. Sometimes this means that assets are sold off so that they can be converted into liquid funds. On the other hand, Illinois law permits one party to be awarded the asset in lieu of receiving other marital assets. Dividing assets in the latter fashion is a very complex process if a family business exists. Ensuring that a proper valuation is reached so the business asset may be offset by other marital assets is a time-consuming and difficult process that requires the use of experts.

Illinois is a state that follows the equitable distribution theory of marital asset allocation in a divorce. What is a marital asset? Generally speaking, a business is classified as a marital asset if it was acquired during the marriage, and was not acquired by inheritance or gift. (Inheritances or gifts to one spouse are considered non-marital property by definition.) What is considered an equitable distribution? Each case is very different. Rather than simply selling all the assets and splitting the proceeds, some parties may prefer to be awarded a particular asset in lieu of another asset. A business, assuming that it is a marital asset, is no exception to this process. Sometimes one spouse wishes to keep the business, especially if it is a professional practice like a doctor’s office. A party may do so, but he/she will have to give up other marital assets in exchange for it. This means that an expert must place a value on the business before an equitable distribution of marital assets may be reached. .

How Is a Business Evaluated?

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