One of the biggest goals of the courts in divorce is fairness. This occurs in all aspects of a divorce case from child custody and visitation to the equitable division of assets.
The fair division of assets for all parties hinges on many factors, including the ability to identify the total net worth of the household.
The challenges of dividing business assets
An article in Forbes magazine offers advice for women who run a company and are going through a divorce. The first rule of thumb is to know what the company is worth. This includes knowing the value of the company and understanding the possibilities for future growth. It also includes calculating all debts and liabilities as well property assets. It may include a determination of the stake in the company of business partners. The article recommends an appraisal by an unbiased professional such as a forensic accountant. The accounting process should consider such intangible factors as the value of the company name. It should also look for instances of hiding assets or liabilities.
The importance of preparation
Statistics show that roughly 50% of marriages end in divorce. This level of probability makes it reasonable that brides and grooms should prepare for this eventuality. An article in MarkWatch stresses the importance of couples keeping good financial records that could prove helpful in a divorce. A record of owning an account before the marriage date could exclude that account from the divorce settlement. This proof often falls on the individual person since banks and brokerage firms only keep records for seven years. Spouses should also consider whether they wish to mingle their financial records or keep them separate, or if they wish to enter into a prenuptial agreement.