In many ways a professional practice is similar to a small business, but professional private practices also have some unique characteristics that can make the divorce process especially complicated. Professionals often worry that a divorce may cause the liquidation of their practice. This negative outcome can be prevented. An experienced professional practice divorce attorney can help you through the process of divorce and find a settlement that protects the continued operation of a private practice.
Valuing A Professional Practice
When dealing with a professional practice in a divorce, a detailed valuation of the business is a required first step in moving forward. The value of a business includes the sum value of all of the business’s physical assets, accounts receivable, customer lists and goodwill. A physical asset can be fairly easy to put a value on, but something like goodwill is not. This is a significant issue in professional practice valuation because for a professional practice the practice’s reputation and client base are generally the factors that drive the value of the business. The practice valuation is part of the foundation of the divorce process; any divorcing professional needs a knowledgeable attorney with the specific qualifications necessary to set up an appropriate and detailed valuation of your practice.
Dividing Professional Practice Assets in Ohio: Equitable Distribution
Once a practice is fairly valued, it is important that your attorney advocate determines that your practice’s value does not lead to an unfair asset division. Ohio is an ‘equitable distribution’ state. This means that marital assets will be dividing in a way that is deemed fair. A fair distribution is not necessarily an equal distribution. Equitable distribution is subjective, comprehensive and can be difficult to predict. An Ohio court will take into account wide ranging factors in making a ‘fair’ distribution. A professional practice could be considered marital property relevant in equitable distribution calculations. Typically if the professional practice were started prior to the marriage, all of one party’s professional interests would not be subject to the division of marital assets.
Contact a Columbus Divorce Attorney
If you are professional with an ownership stake in a practice or closely held business, and you are beginning the divorce process, you need to speak to an Ohio family law lawyer with experience handling the complex issues that arise when a professional practice is involved in a divorce. You attorney can help you through the process and protect your professional practice. Contact the Law Offices of William L. Geary to speak to a professional practice divorce attorney today.