Beverly Hills Business Divorce Attorney
Are you and your spouse contemplating divorce in Beverly Hills, CA? If you own your own business, it’s important to hire an experienced Beverly Hills business divorce attorney who can protect your interests. Call Berenji & Associates at (310) 271-6290 for legal help.
Owning a business can significantly complicate the divorce process. Division of business assets and debts is often a highly contested issue in divorce. Even if your situation is relatively amicable, seeking legal advice sooner rather than later is essential.
Berenji & Associates is an award-winning law firm with decades of combined experience handling complex family law matters. Our experienced Beverly Hills divorce lawyer is here to help you make rational decisions during this difficult time. We’re known for forming creative solutions that lead to favorable outcomes for our clients.
Even determining the fair value of your business can be complicated. Contact our law offices in Beverly Hills, California, to schedule a confidential consultation with a Beverly Hills business divorce lawyer.
How can Berenji & Associates Help With My Divorce Case if I Own My Own Business in Beverly Hills, CA?
Dividing a business can be much more complicated than dividing other marital assets in Beverly Hill, California. Putting a dollar value on a business enterprise can be challenging. Many different intangible factors can come into play.
Even if the business was operated solely by one spouse, you shouldn’t assume that the division will be simple or straightforward.
An experienced Beverly Hills divorce attorney can help. At Berenji & Associates, our firm has been listed as a top-rated family law firm by Super Lawyers. We’ve also earned a perfect-10 Avvo rating.
When you hire us to handle your divorce, our Beverly Hills divorce attorneys will:
- Compile all evidence about the business’ structure, finances, and debts
- Hire experts and specialists who can make sure the business value is determined correctly
- Provide experienced guidance and support at every turn
- Facilitate mediation in an effort to secure a favorable settlement without trial
- Represent your interests in court if necessary
Don’t risk the future of your business. Call our Beverly Hills business divorce attorneys to schedule a consultation today.
How is Ownership of a Business Determined in California?
Many different scenarios can exist when it comes time to determine who “owns” a business for purposes of divorce in California. Maybe you started a business prior to your marriage and continued to operate that business during the marriage. Maybe you and your spouse started the business together.
When you’re filing for divorce in Beverly Hills, the details are incredibly important. California is a community property state. Community property, or marital property, is theoretically divided 50-50 between the spouses regardless of whether one spouse earned more money or made more financial contributions to the family.
Community property may include the following:
- Income earned by either spouse during the marriage, including salary, dividends, stock, interest income, capital gains, etc.
- Any property acquired during the marriage using income earned by either spouse during the marriage
- Any debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage
Assets owned by either spouse prior to the marriage remain the separate property of that spouse. So, if you began your business before the marriage or after your separation, it is possible that it could be classified as separate property. If you stopped actively participating in the business after the marriage, the business may also be classified as separate property.
However, businesses owned by one spouse can create significant complications. That’s because each spouse’s income that stems from the business is considered community property. This may even be an issue if one spouse started the business well before the couple married.
How Are Business Assets Divided in Beverly Hills, California?
As with all marital property, business assets can be divided in two primary ways:
- The spouses can agree on a fair division
- The judge can determine who is entitled to what
Our lawyers in Beverly Hills will do everything we can to help you and your spouse reach a favorable agreement without judicial intervention. However, in our experience, it isn’t always simple.
Many different factors can impact how your business is divided, including the following:
- When was the business started?
- Were both spouses active in the business, or did only one spouse play an active role?
- Does one spouse have any special training, education, or skills that are critical to keeping the business alive?
- How will taxes impact the advisability of various scenarios
- The type of business involved and whether success depends heavily on the business’s physical assets or skills of one or both spouses
- Whether the business can continue to operate without one spouse (for example, if the business is a medical practice and only one spouse has medical training)
It’s critical to have an experienced attorney by your side at every stage. Contact Berenji & Associates today to learn more about how we can work to protect your interests.
Can I Buy My Spouse Out of a Business in Beverly Hills, CA?
It may be possible to buy your spouse out of the business. However, it’s important to remember that your spouse’s share may not simply equal 50% of the business’s current value.
Generally, it’s assumed that the business will continue to generate income even after the buyout. If the business is classified as community property, your spouse could be entitled to half of that estimated future income stream. That makes it important to both understand the current value of your business and to know the estimated value of the business as an ongoing enterprise.
On the other hand, to retain control of a business jointly owned and operated by you and your spouse, you may have no choice but to buy out your spouse.
What if I Owned and Operated My Beverly Hills Business Prior to the Marriage?
If you owned and operated your Beverly Hills business prior to the marriage, at least part of the business’ value may be considered separate property.
For example, if you can prove that the business was worth $100,000 when you married, that $100,000 may be classified as separate property. Any increase in the business’ value during the marriage may be considered community property.
How is the Value of My Beverly Hills Business Determined in a Divorce?
The value of your business depends on many different factors. During the valuation process, you will be required to provide all financial documentation. General market conditions and industry trends can also be important to the valuation process.
Often, forensic accountants and other specialists may play a critical role evaluating the value of your company. Use of a forensic accountant can also be critical to making sure that you’re getting your fair share of the business.
How Can Mistakes in the Valuation Process Impact My Beverly Hills Divorce Case?
It’s important to make sure the valuation process is handled correctly. Business owners often make mistakes in the valuation process that can impact the outcome of property division. After all, it is the family court judge who will make the final decision.
Some common mistakes that business owners in California make include:
- Using a valuation approach that hasn’t been approved by the courts
- Mistakes in valuing intangibles, including goodwill
- Failing to account for all of the business assets and debts
- Failing to account for temporary fluctuations in the business’s income
- Failing to recognize unusual circumstances or one-off charges that can impact the current valuation
- Failing to apply minority discounts or failing to apply the rules governing minority discounts in business valuation correctly
- Failing to account for the impact of any buy-sell or cross-purchase agreements that can impact the ongoing value of the business
Business structures in California can be extremely complex. They can also be relatively straightforward. It’s important to hire a lawyer with significant experience handling the division of business property in divorce.
At Berenji & Associates, we have decades of experience handling complicated cases like yours. We also have the resources to handle even the most complex divorce cases. Before filing for divorce in Beverly Hills, contact our law firm to learn more about your legal rights and options.
How Will Business Debt Be Handled in My Beverly Hills Divorce Case?
Business debt will also be classified as either community property or separate property. If business debt is taken on to benefit a business that is considered community property, it doesn’t matter whether only one spouse’s name is on the paperwork. Debt related to community property is generally the responsibility of both spouses.
While many different approaches can be agreed upon, one common solution is to allocate business debt in proportion to the division of the business’ assets.
That said, it absolutely depends on the unique circumstances of your case.
Contact an Experienced Beverly Hills Business Divorce Attorney for a Confidential Consultation Today
Are you a business owner in Beverly Hills, CA, who is considering divorce? Before filing for divorce, contact our experienced Beverly Hills business divorce attorney to learn about your legal options, rights, and obligations. You can count on our team at Berenji & Associates to help you navigate any challenges you face throughout the divorce process.