During the divorce, there needs to be a recognition that there should be as minimal a disruption in business as possible. Obviously, there is going to be some disruption on the business order side because divorce is stressful and emotional. However, the best way to protect this, as well as from any other unnecessary disruption from the other side’s attorney, is to be open, honest, and forthright with the financial documents as well as the explanations of what your business does. The more open and honest you are, the best and the fastest results you’re going to have.
You can also do things such as hire a joint expert, provide the documents to the expert, and limit the scope of the entire investigation. When I say limit the scope, figure out at your first meeting between the attorneys as well as with the expert exactly what you are looking at. Are you looking at one year, at three years, at five years? Is there a premarital component, or is the entire business marital? What specific documents are going to be needed in order to get you to that goal? The more specific a business owner is with the financial expert, the more tailored the explanation is going to be, and it won’t be a fishing expedition.
Frequently you have issues where the non-business owning spouse’s attorney doesn’t understand the business or doesn’t know the business. One of the easiest ways to do that is the two attorneys, the two spouses, and the financial expert meet at an initial meeting so that they all learn what the business is about, and they’re able to determine what the scope is.
Alison C. Leslie, Esq. practices family law exclusively in her Morristown, NJ offices, where she offers her clients the individualized attention of a solo practitioner with the experience of a larger firm.