Protecting Business Assets in a Carlsbad Divorce

Pierre Domercq Professional Practice & Business Ownership

Since 2008 the fundamental economy here in North County and across the US has changed. It is much more common to encounter divorce clients who are concerned with protecting business assets or an ownership interest in an LLC or professional practice. What is the process to ensure the business continues to thrive? How will the business be handled in the divorce?
There are many questions which must be resolved, and while a blog does not provide legal advice we can provide some initial insight. In the end you will need the experienced Carlsbad divorce attorneys at Burke & Domercq who have extensive experience in North County divorce cases as well as business ownership.
One of the first questions is whether the business interest was obtained or begun during the course of the marriage. If one of the spouses already owned a business prior to the marriage and did not use marital funds to support it the business will often remain separate property.
If the business was started or acquired during the course of the marriage the interest in the business is usually community property, and the valuation of that business interest must be divided between the parties according to California law.
There are many issues that complicate this process. The first is actual valuation of the business entity or interest itself. This is usually accomplished through expert testimony from a party with extensive expertise in the appraisal or valuation of like business interests.
What funds were used to acquire the business interest? Was it passed down to the spouse as an inheritance? Did the spouse use separate funds to acquire the business entity and keep all accounts separate from the marital accounts? Did the community (the married couple) invest money into the business or any of its assets such as real property or equipment?
In these cases the community may have a smaller interest in the business, but an interest none the less. The primary concern in most of these cases is to protect the ongoing day-to-day operations of the business throughout the course of the divorce itself.
Our attorneys have decades of experience in North County divorce cases involving business ownership. We invite you to review the comments and recommendations of our clients and contact us or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.