BUSINESS VALUATION

When one or both spouses own a business, and all or part of the business is community property, the value of the community interest must be determined. Business valuation usually involves the use of expert witnesses, most commonly a certified public accountant or a certified valuation analyst.

It is crucial that your lawyer have experience in and understand the issues that may arise where the spouses own a business. The lawyer must also know qualified experts who are experienced in valuing a business for purpose of dissolution (divorce). Valuing a business in a divorce is not the same as valuing a business for sale or estate planning purposes.

If the divorce case does go to trial, a client may wish to have the issue "bifurcated" - tried separately from -- the rest of the divorce case. In addition to characterizing and valuing a business, it may be necessary to determine whether the business should be valued on the date of separation or the date of trial. The date of separation is not necessarily the date the spouses stop living together. It requires a more complex factual and legal analysis.

An experienced divorce attorney working with an expert can help resolve the case without litigation or, if the case goes to trial, prepare it efficiently and present it well. For a consultation with an attorney who has handled many cases involving business valuation, contact our San Jose office at 408/975-9500. Rebecca Tran and Ann Wise have worked with many of the business valuation experts in San Jose and can assist in choosing the best person for your case.