Thanks to community property rules playing a major role in television and movies, people often assume that divorcing spouses split assets 50-50. However, that isn't always the case. Oklahoma and approximately 40 other states follow the equitable distribution legal standard, which calls for marital property to be divided fairly—though not necessarily evenly—based on a variety of considerations, such as each spouse's age, health, earning potential, and contributions to the marriage.

In order for division to be truly equitable, it's important to understand the true value of each asset included in the marital estate—and if your marital estate includes a business or other significant assets, obtaining an accurate valuation is even more vital. Fortunately, we can help.

At the Law Office of Aaron D. Bundy, PLC, we review your marital assets in the discovery process, connect you with a valuations professional who can give you an accurate appraisal of their worth, and then use what we learn to fight for your fair share of the marital property. Here's what you need to know.

Business Valuation

When a divorce involves a business, the issue of property division can become even more complex and contentious. One spouse may worry that they'll have to give up half of everything they've worked for, while the other may fear that they won't be fairly compensated for all their behind-the-scenes efforts that helped make the business a success. Sound familiar? These business valuation basics can help prepare you for what to expect.

Valuation Methods

Professional valuators often use one—or a combination—of the following three methods when determining what a business is worth:

  • Asset-based approach. This approach identifies and totals a company's tangible and intangible assets, then subtracts its liabilities (debts) to arrive at its value.
  • Income-based approach. This valuation method converts anticipated economic benefits into a present-day dollar amount to figure out the value of a business or business interest.
  • Market-based approach. This tactic compares the selling price of other similar businesses or business interests to determine what your business or business interest is worth.

Additionally, each valuation method takes these factors into consideration:

  • Profitability
  • Goodwill (such as location, number of clients, customer loyalty, revenue, reputation, longevity, intellectual property, etc.)
  • Tangible and intangible assets

Business Value and the Marital Estate

If you (or your spouse) owned the business or business interest in question prior to marriage, the entirety of its value may not be included in the marital estate. In such cases, it's often only the business's appreciation in value that's considered part of the marital estate and subject to division in divorce.

Options for Divorcing Spouses Who Own a Business or Business Interest

  • Sell the business and divide the profits
  • Buy out your spouse's interest in the business (or use other assets to offset their interest)
  • Officially dissolve the business

Our knowledgeable attorneys can review your case and discuss the pros and cons of each option with you.

Valuation for Other Types of Assets

Businesses aren't the only assets that require valuation in an Oklahoma divorce. Other types of property that warrant professional appraisal include:

  • Houses and other real estate
  • Cars, trucks, and other vehicles
  • Paintings, sculptures, and other valuable works of art
  • Jewelry
  • Souvenirs and collectibles
  • Pensions, investments, 401(k)s (and other retirement plans)

Facing a High-Asset Divorce? Schedule a Private Consultation

Divorcing in Oklahoma and concerned about what your finances will look like in the aftermath? Your post-divorce financial future depends heavily on the equitable division of the assets in your marital estate, which is why you need an adept and skillful divorce and family law attorney to aggressively advocate on your behalf. Fortunately, that's just what you'll find at the Law Office of Aaron D. Bundy, PLC. Want to learn how we can assist with business and asset valuation in your Oklahoma divorce? Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a discrete consultation.