Category: Complex Financial Issues

Lack of Expert and Evidence Foils Business Valuation in Divorce

Personal Goodwill versus Enterprise Goodwill

When a business is an asset in a Pennsylvania divorce, the court needs detailed information — and often a business valuation in divorce — to perform equitable distribution. The information must be presented in court in an effective way.  Not having a business valuation or detailed information can lead to unexpected results.  Recently, in Sweeney v. Sweeney, No. 2164 EDA 2015 (August 30, 2016) (non-precedential), the Superior Court confronted a divorce case in which the […]

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Can Divorced Exes Remain Partners in Business?

Business owners in Pennsylvania who are seeking a divorce may be encouraged to hear that it is possible to remain business partners even while dissolving the marital relationship. According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 3.7 million small businesses are owned by married couples. Many of them face divorce each year, placing their businesses at risk as emotions interfere with corporate decision-making and cash flow. For some businesses, it is impractical […]

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Suspicion of Fraud Will Not Defeat Divorce Settlement Agreement

Couples who have settled their divorce in Pennsylvania may recall that divorce settlement agreements are final and enforceable only if there has been a full and fair disclosure of marital assets. A recent decision of the Pennsylvania Superior Court tests this principle in a case where one spouse suspected that her husband may have been less than honest in disclosing his net worth. In Ford v. Ford, the wife petitioned […]

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Lopsided Equitable Distribution in Favor of Business Owner Vacated

Perhaps the recent non-precedential Superior Court opinion in Rice illustrates the hazard that is inherent when a business owner gives half of the stock and pays an equal salary to his spouse who does not actually work in the business. The Fayette County trial court in Rice v. Rice, No. 1125 WDA 2012 (October 31, 2013) awarded 57% of the marital estate to the husband, including all of the stock […]

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