If you are a doctor, chiropractor, dentist, or have another type of medical practice and are in the process of getting a divorce, you have some different and unique challenges that other couples do not have when it comes to the equitable division of marital assets. Your business likely needs to stay open, as it is impossible to sell and divide equally. However, medical practices are calculated for asset purposes within a divorce and if done correctly, can protect your legal and financial rights.
Determination of Value
The first obstacle you must face as any kind of medical professional with a private practice during the divorce process is to determine the value of the medical practice. Valuations of any kind of business can be financially challenging and will include assessing both intangible and tangible assets. In many cases, a financial expert who specializes in valuations may be needed to accurately make a determination regarding the value of the entirety of your medical practice. Most experienced attorneys will have the ability to consult with a financial expert on your divorce case, if necessary. Every part of the medical practice will need to be taken into account including physical property, medical equipment, financial assets, intellectual property, and the inherent goodwill that the medical practice has built within the community.
Open for Business
After a complete analysis has been done regarding the exact valuation of the medical practice, additional decisions need to be made regarding the division of this valuable asset. In most cases, the medical practitioner will not want to actually sell the business, but keep it in operation as they likely make their livelihood from it. The court will include the medical practice within the calculation of all marital assets and then make a determination on how to divide these assets among the spouses.
A medical practice may be “bought out” by one spouse. In this case, the medical practitioner offers half of the value of the practice to the other spouse. This will allow the doctor, chiropractor, dentist, or another medical practitioner to keep their source of livelihood and keep their medical practice open. If the medical practitioner spouse does not have enough money or cash to pay out the other spouse, creative solutions may include adjusting the distribution of the equity in the marital home, or even the option for one spouse to make payments to the other over time.
Contact a Family Law Divorce Attorney
Every divorce is challenging, but those divorces that involve the division of medical practices can be extremely legally complex, oftentimes requiring a financial expert witness to ensure that the valuation of the practice is appropriate and accurate. If you are in the process of going through a divorce as a medical practitioner, or with a medical practitioner spouse, contact an experienced family law attorney at Lankford & Moore Law today. We can help ensure that your legal and financial rights are protected with respect to all of your marital assets during the divorce process.