the court may put a value on the business
A question that often is asked in family law proceedings is “What is the value of my husband’s wife’s business?” In a normal commercial context, that question can often be answered by looking at what an “arms-length” purchaser would be willing to pay for the business.
Very often, in family law cases, there may be no ready market for the particular business and if the “arms-length” test was applied, the result might be a nil value. Where a husband or wife continues to run a business and it is making a substantial amount of money, the Court may decide to put a monetary value on the business in relation to what it is worth to the remaining spouse.
Usually, the Court accept any valuations that have been agreed on by the parties concerned which have normally been decided in relation to the price of similar properties on a real estate agents listings. If no agreement can be reached on the value of your joint assets then you must get a sworn valuation that is to be lodged with the Court with an attached affidavit signed by the valuer.
The payment for the valuer is the couple’s responsibility. If each of the people employs their own valuer and there is disagreement on the valuation then a “conference of the experts” will have to be arranged.
At this conference the valuations will need to be discussed and an agreement will need to be reached between the valuers. A joint statement will have to be prepared concerning the issues and whether an agreement has been reached and if not the reasons for any disagreement.
This report is submitted to Court to be evaluated and to reconcile any further disagreements if necessary. It is always preferable to try and sort out issues without having to take up too much court time as this is an expensive way of solving a dispute.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.