levitra"> levitra"> Q. I am getting a divorce and my husband owns a business. My attorney says ...

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Jeffrey D. Jones

Ask the Expert: Business Valuator

Jeffrey D. Jones, ASA, CBA, FCBI

Please send your questions to Jeffrey Jones Because of the large volume of mail and the sensitivity or specific nature of some issues, it is impossible to post answers to all of your questions in this column. As time permits, and if you so indicate, I will try to send a few personalized responses. DivorceInteractive.com has a strict Privacy Policy and will not post your name or contact information or share such information with any other person or entity without your permission.

I am getting a divorce and my husband owns a business. My attorney says I need to get an appraisal of the business, but my husband says the business has no value, because he is the business and when he leaves there would be no business. Is he correct?

A: The business is considered an asset of your estate. The Court will require that you submit a list of all the assets owned by you and your husband, including the business. When the parties cannot agree as to the value of the business, the Court will require an appraisal be done. The options you have are to either get your own appraiser, jointly agree to hire an independent appraiser (do not use the CPA who does the accounting for the business or anyone who has an ongoing relationship with either you or your husband), or the Court will hire an appraiser, and you and your husband will have to pay the cost.

The standard of value in most all divorce cases is Fair Market Value. That is “that price at which a willing seller and willing generic buyer would agree, neither being under compulsion to sell or buy.” So, based on this concept the business may well have a significant value. Its value will be added to the other assets of the estate wherein the Court will make a division of property.

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