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Using business valuation during a divorce

Couples with complex assets often find that reaching equal property division is the most difficult aspect of seeking divorce in Louisiana. Our divorce laws require that spouses each receive an equal share of a couple's marital assets, rather than allowing couples to reach a divorce agreement that they both agree is "equitable."

Of course, the more complicated the assets a couple holds, the more difficult it often can prove to divide these equally to the satisfaction of both the spouses and the court. It is easy to see how many couples with complex assets who face divorce in Louisiana may worry that what could be a civil, respectful process for some is sure to be a lengthy, difficult battle in their case.

This is especially true when it comes to a business one spouse owns. While businesses are often far more complex assets than most investments or residential real estate, the law still treats them like any other basic asset that a person can own, often meaning that it counts as marital property.

The business may be very important to many others outside of the marriage, such as those who depend on it as customers or employees who depend on it for their income. Clearly, it is always important to fully understand the details of a business in order to treat it appropriately in property division.

Business valuation keeps the process fair

It is all too easy for the strains of divorce to affect spouses' abilities to reach fair agreements. Regardless of how a couple chooses to resolve the issue of owning a business, it is important that both sides work together fairly for a mutually beneficial outcome.

A professional business valuation allows all parties to fully understand the inner workings of the business so that a proper settlement is possible. Until each side understands exactly what the business is worth and what liabilities it brings, it is too easy and tempting for one side or the other to exaggerate the business's worth or undervalue it for his or her own purposes.

This is a normal temptation, because our assets and our relationships are often intertwined. However, using a professional business valuation is an excellent way to protect both spouses from unfair pressures during an already tense process.

Create a sound strategy to achieve your divorce goals

Getting to the other side of a divorce while protecting your priorities is a lengthy, difficult process. It is never wise to approach divorce without a detailed strategy, especially in Louisiana and other community property states. An experienced attorney can create strong strategies to protect your rights, set the tone for your divorce process and reach the other side, ready for the next chapter of life.

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