Michigan Divorce: Property Distribution and the Business Appraisal

Michigan Divorce, please call us today, 734.927.9782, to discuss how your property distribution could be impacted by a business valuation.

Property distribution is an important part of the Michigan Divorce process.  There are two ways to divide marital property during a Michigan divorce. This first is to enter into an agreement with your spouse regarding who gets what. If you and your spouse can agree on a division that seems fair to both, you can then memorialize your agreement into a Consent Judgment of Divorce.  If you and your spouse reach an agreement on how to divide marital property, then a Judge will decide for you.

It is not uncommon for the parties in a Michigan Divorce case to have a business that needs to be divided as part of the divorce. If the parties cannot reach an agreement regarding the valuation of the business then the value of the business must be ascertained by an expert in order for the business to be fairly divided.

The first step in obtaining an business appraisal is selecting a valuation expert to perform the appraisal.  It is important to select a valuation expert who the attorneys and parties are comfortable interacting with.  As a result of the complexity of Michigan business appraisals,  the valuation expert must be available to answer questions during the divorce process, at mediation and to serve as an expert witness at trial.

Business appraisals are costly and make sure to plan ahead because business appraisals can take several months. During the Michigan Divorce process make sure that the appraisal is scheduled far in advance of mediation or trial.

The Michigan Divorce Courts rely on three main valuation methods: asset, market and income.  It is important to discuss with the valuation expert the different valuation methods that will be used in the appraisal. The type of method employed will effect the outcome of the appraisal.

Further complications regarding the valuation is determining whether a business interest is separate, marital or a combination of both.  Some of the factors include but are not limited to the date of marriage and the date the business interest was acquired. Second, the source of funds used to start the business, and finally, the financial and labor-related contributions to the business given by either spouse during the marriage.  Keep in mind, simply because the business interest was acquired prior to the date of marriage, it does not mean that the non-owner spouse can take no value from it.

Even though divorce is difficult, the process does not have to be. If you have the right team of legal professionals assisting you, that can make the process much more manageable. Please keep in mind your specific situation may be somewhat different from the norm. The information provided in this article is a guide to the basics of the Michigan Divorce process. Please call, 734.927.9782, Michigan Divorce Attorneys at Stelmock Law Firm, PC to discuss your matter and additional items you will need for your Michigan divorce checklist.  We represent clients in the Metro Detroit area (Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Livonia, Westland, Ann Arbor, Novi) and throughout Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Livingston counties. The firm’s office is located at 8556 N. Canton Center Road, Canton, Michigan 48187