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Wheaton, IL Business Valuation and Division Attorney

Winfield IL business valuation attorney

DuPage County Lawyer for Valuing Businesses and Private Practices in Divorce

When one or both parties to a divorce are business or private practice owners, their businesses are usually among the most valuable assets belonging to the marital estate. As such, they can have a major impact on the division of marital property. However, determining what a business is worth is rarely simple. In most cases, it is important to obtain a business valuation from a financial professional so that you are operating with all available information as you work toward a fair resolution.

Attorney Jessica Sendek has represented many business owners throughout more than 10 years of experience practicing divorce and family law. She can work with you to have your business properly valued, utilize that information throughout the process of divorce negotiations or litigation, and advise you on a strategy that helps you achieve your priorities regarding your business and other property and financial interests.

Is My Business a Marital Asset?

In Illinois, only properties belonging to the marital estate must be divided in a divorce. Non-marital property, on the other hand, can remain in the possession of the spouse to whom it belonged during the marriage. Your business may be considered a non-marital asset if you owned it before getting married, if you started or purchased it with funds from an inheritance or gift, for example. However, if you started or acquired the business during the marriage, whether with your spouse or on your own, there is a good chance that it will be considered a marital asset subject to division in your divorce.

Obtaining a Business Valuation

Getting a professional business valuation is important not only because it provides you with valuable information, but also because your spouse or the court may choose to seek their own valuation. If you are unprepared or underprepared, you may lose control of the property division process. A business valuation is a good idea for a large corporation, a family business, a small private practice, and everything in between.

For your valuation, you should enlist the services of a qualified financial professional with experience in a variety of valuation methods, as some methods may be more applicable to your business than others. For example, if there is available data regarding similar businesses that have been sold recently, it may make sense to assess your business based on its market value. On the other hand, if you are self-employed or operate a small professional practice for which there are few reasonable comparisons, a better approach may be to value your business based on the income it generates or the assets and liabilities it holds.

Dividing Business Assets in an Illinois Divorce

With your business valuation in hand, you can then begin the process of determining a fair division of the business assets along with other marital property. Depending on your needs and priorities, one of the following options may be a good approach:

  • Pursuing full ownership of the business. If you are personally invested in the business or rely on it as a primary source of income, you can make it a priority in the divorce and compensate your spouse with other marital assets in exchange for his or her interest in the business. This will allow you to maintain control of the business after the divorce is finalized.
  • Maintaining joint ownership with your spouse. If both of you have been heavily involved in the business, you may wish to work out an agreement in which you remain business partners after the divorce. In this case, you should be sure that you can maintain a constructive professional relationship and that additional measures are in place to protect your interest.
  • Selling the business. If you cannot work out another arrangement, or if the monetary value of the business is worth more to you than the business itself, you may choose to sell it and divide the resulting proceeds with your spouse.

Keep in mind that if you own the business in partnership with someone other than your spouse, you may need to consult with them to ensure that your preferred method of dividing the business assets is acceptable within the contractual terms of your partnership.

Contact a Warrenville Business Valuation Lawyer

If you have questions about valuing and protecting business assets in your divorce, contact us at 630-358-9029 for a free consultation today. We represent business owners and others with high asset divorce concerns in Wheaton, Warrenville, Naperville, Glen Ellyn, West Chicago, Lisle, Winfield, and throughout DuPage County and the surrounding areas.

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