Thursday, November 6, 2014

In oil baron's divorce, company lawyer plays star role

Wow billions to split in a divorce with most of the money tied up in a closely held business creates different dynamics. Is the lawyer for the company behaving badly by being in the court room during the divorce (behind closed doors)? Probably not. See the article posted on Reuters here.

When one spouse owns a business worth a lot of money the other spouse has a right to learn a lot about that business. Are funds being hidden? What is the business really worth? Should/could the owner be taking more money out of the business which could increase the alimony/child support a court may award.

So bottom line, if you or your spouse owns a business, expect your lawyer to ask for information about that business and expect a fight over what will or should be disclosed.

When billions are at stake the decision on whether or not to chase that information is easy. It is hard to decide how much money and energy to spend on the typical smaller business valuation. We have experts that we use to do such a valuation in the divorces we handle. We decide with the client if it is worth doing so. It is a cost benefit analysis. An analysis that has be done with limited information.

Call if we can help.