Tag Archives: assets

business value in divorce, DuPage family law attorneyMy husband wants me to agree to his accountant's valuation of the business he started up during our marriage. He says this will save money on attorneys fees and quickly settle our Illinois divorce, should I agree?

In high income or high net worth cases one side or the other may attempt to persuade their spouse to agree or "stipulate" to the value of a "marital business." Many times a high income or high net worth spouse will use various techniques of persuasion or threats including such statements as:

  • The business has no value since it cannot be sold.
  • The actual business value resides in the personal goodwill I have created so that if I left the business it would have no value since the customers would only deal with me.
  • The debt exceeds the value of the physical assets and therefore the business has no value or a limited value.
  • I will simply close the business and you will receive nothing.

These attempts at persuasion may or may not convince the other spouse. The object of the game is to avoid having an expert evaluate the business and determine the present fair market value of the marital portion of the business so that you as a spouse can receive your fair share.

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illinois divorce asset lawyerIf your spouse has for sometime or even quite recently been buying gold in the form of jewelry or other forms it is not necessarily because your spouse is cheating on you or giving these as gifts to some other person. If divorce is imminent, it is an effective way of concealing cash in a form that goes relatively unnoticed.

On the other hand, men in particular do not realize that when their wife buys herself a bauble or special gift, it is in fact a way of concealing money in an asset that appreciates in value and is easy sell or even return to the jeweler for cash.

This type of spending also has the increased benefit to your spouse of creating a history or precedent of spending during your marriage. A nonworking spouse can claim this spending reflects a family lifestyle that you silently agreed upon during the marriage. Your silence is your agreement.

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If I make a Last Will and Testament leaving everything to my children, can he still inherit from me while the divorce is proceeding? This seems simple, doesn't it? Well, it isn't.

Property in Your Name Alone

A filed divorce case does not automatically stop inheritance by your spouse. If you have real estate or other property in your sole name and die during your divorce case without a Last Will and Testament that property passes one half to your children and one half to your spouse, despite the divorce. In fact, without a will, if you have no children, your spouse gets it all.

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