Wheaton, IL Business Valuation Attorney

Glendale Heights divorce attorney for business asset division

Lawyers for the Division of Business Assets During Divorce in Naperville, Glen Ellyn, and DuPage County

divorce case can involve a variety of legal and financial issues that will need to be addressed and resolved. In some cases, the process of property and debt division may be fairly straightforward, but in others, couples may need to determine how to divide multiple types of complex assets. If either spouse is a business owner, their business is likely to be one of their most significant assets and sources of income, and they may want to do everything they can to protect a family business and ensure that it can remain operational after their divorce is complete. Spouses can make sure issues related to business interests are handled correctly by working with a skilled divorce lawyer.

The attorneys of McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience, and we understand the issues that must be addressed when considering how to divide business interests and other valuable assets during the divorce process. We will work with you to ensure that the proper value is placed on a business owned by you and/or your spouse, and we will help you determine the best ways to divide your assets in a way that meets your needs and protects your financial interests.

When Is a Business Considered a Marital Asset?

The state of Illinois uses the principle of "equitable distribution" to divide property between spouses during divorce, and this means that both spouses should receive a fair and equitable portion of the couple's marital assets. If a business was founded or acquired after a couple was married and before they were legally separated or divorced, it is considered a marital asset, and it will be subject to division along with other marital property.

However, even if one spouse owned a business before getting married, some of the business's assets may be considered marital property. Business interests may be converted from non-marital property to marital property if they become commingled with other assets owned by the family, such as when the same accounts are used to manage the business's finances and the family's finances.

In other situations, a non-marital business owned by one spouse may have increased in value due to contributions by the other spouse, such as co-managing the business or efforts made to expand business operations. In these cases, the value gained by the business during the marriage may be considered a marital asset, or the spouse who owns the business may be required to reimburse the other spouse for their contributions to the business.

Business Valuation Methods

Whether a business is considered marital or non-marital property, a business valuation will need to be performed to gain a full understanding of each spouse's assets, income, and financial resources. In many cases, spouses will want to work with accountants or financial appraisers to perform a business valuation, and these experts may use the following methods when doing so:

  • Asset-based approach - The total value of the assets owned by a business are calculated, and the business's liabilities are subtracted to determine the business's value. Assets may include physical inventory, equipment, real estate property, and intellectual property. Liabilities may include any debts or other payments owed by the business.
  • Market value approach - By looking at other similar businesses that have recently been sold within a similar geographic area, a potential purchase price for the business can be estimated. This method may be used if a couple plans to sell a marital business during their divorce and divide the proceeds.
  • Earnings-based approach - The business' past earnings may be examined while also considering the potential for growth and expansion to estimate the cash flow that may be expected from the business in the future. 

Typically, a combination of these methods will be used to determine the current value of a business, as well as the expected financial benefits it will provide to an owner in the future. This will ensure that a couple can address ownership of the business and other assets so that both spouses will retain a fair and equitable portion of the property they own.

Contact a Warrenville Complex Asset Division Lawyer

By ensuring that business interests are handled properly during your divorce, you can protect your financial interests and be prepared for success once your marriage has been dissolved. To learn more about how we can help with business valuation during your divorce, contact McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C. at 630-407-1200 to set up a free consultation. We assist with complex divorce cases in DuPage County, Kane County, Will County, Cook County, and Kendall County, including Warrenville, Wheaton, Glendale Heights, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Naperville, and Winfield.

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