Smith, Meier & Webb, LPA

Your business' value subject to family law division

Figuring out how assets are to be divided when going through a divorce can be a challenge. Some things, like a privately owned business, may not, itself, be subject to division, but the value of it may be taken into consideration when it comes to determining any financial settlements offered to one's spouse. Ohio family law is written to ensure each party walks away with a relatively fair share of marital assets -- a business being considered a significant marital asset.

Several things have to be considered before a financial settlement relating to one's business can be determined. The company's value, for one, matters. This is not how much one believes the company is worth, but rather the court will look at the market value, appreciation and business income.

If hidden assets are a concern, this is something that one's spouse may bring up either to his or her attorney or the court. An investigation will then be completed, looking for any anomalies in records, bookkeeping, pay or any other inaccurate items. Hiding assets is illegal and could land the offending party in some serious trouble.

The financial settlement provided, relating to one's business, can affect other areas of a divorce settlement. Alimony, for example, may be reduced or denied if one's spouse receives a settlement based on the company's value, in order to prevent double dipping, which could hurt one's business down the line. With the assistance of a family law attorney, private business owners in Ohio who are going through the divorce process can seek settlement terms that will serve their best interests and the best interests of their companies.

Source:, "Three Pressing Issues For Business Owners Going Through a Divorce", Mark S. Gottlieb, Jan. 30, 2018

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