The first step is to evaluate whether the business is a marital asset or what portion of the business is a marital asset. Was the business gifted to one of the parties before or during the marriage, or has it grown during the marriage, that it was a premarital business and the parties invested into it during the marriage, is it a gifted business by say a parent and then say the parties invested into the business during the marriage? We may have a blend of a marital or pre-gifted business that then the parties invested into. So, we really have to first begin to look to and carve out the marital portion of the business.
Now before I consider whether to utilize a forensic accountant to value a business, I look to the size of the business. For example some businesses are just side businesses of a spouse and from a cost-business perspective it does not make fiscal sense as the business does not generate more than a small profit if a profit at all. When a business is a larger business with multiple employees and supports the parties in their marital lifestyle, generally under those circumstances a forensic accountant would be necessary.
New Jersey attorney Cynthia Ann Brassington is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney, and regularly helps people to resolve their divorce-related issues, from property division to child support, and custody. To learn more about Cynthia and her practice visit www.LinwoodFamilyLaw.com.