When you are getting divorced and faced with the matter of dividing your assets, you quickly learn that it can be far more complicated than you realize. This is particularly true if you are dealing with sophisticated, complex assets like businesses.
During a divorce, business ownership and investments need to be appraised and given a value so that you and/or the courts can calculate an accurate divorce settlement. In California, each spouse would then receive 50 percent of the value of that asset (as long as it is a marital asset). However, this can be very complicated when two people don’t agree on the asset valuation.
For example, one woman in another state filed a lawsuit claiming her ex-husband committed fraud by undervaluing his net worth regarding a real estate investment. She argued that he hid $5.5 million and she should be entitled to half of that.
However, the case was filed in 2009; nearly 30 years after the couple had divorced and after the statute of limitations had run out. Further, a court recently determined that there was no evidence of fraud in the first place. Finally, the judge reminded the woman that she had signed a document agreeing to the settlement and acknowledging the fact that she did not have all the information on her ex’s financial situation.
Considering all the elements working against this woman, it is not surprising that her case was dismissed.
However, this still serves as an important reminder to our readers that business valuation can prove to be a divisive topic, even after a divorce settlement has been finalized.
Considering all that may be at stake in these scenarios, it can be vital to work with an attorney during the valuation process and when finalizing a divorce settlement so that you can be confident you are getting a fair, satisfactory resolution.