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Chicago Business Valuation Attorney

West Loop Business Asset Valuation Attorney

Divorce Lawyer in Cook County for Dividing Business Interests

Owning and operating a closely-held business is the realization of the proverbial American Dream for many people. However, when a business owner is facing the reality of a divorce, the situation can become more like a nightmare. It is not uncommon for business interests to play a role in many—if not most—high-asset divorces, meaning that the business will usually need to be considered during the division of marital assets.

At The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC, our Cook County divorce lawyer is equipped to help business owners of all types get through the divorce process. In addition to his experience as a family law attorney, Curtis Bennett Ross is a Certified Public Accountant who has been court-appointed as a financial expert and receiver in contested divorce cases. He and his team recognize how important it is to obtain an accurate business valuation so that an equitable settlement agreement can be reached.

Businesses as Part of the Marital Estate

Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/503) provides that marital property includes any property acquired by either party during the marriage. There are very limited exceptions to this rule, which means that if you or your partner buys, opens, or invests a business venture during your marriage, these interests will usually be counted as part of your marital estate. As such, they are subject to being divided in the event of a divorce. It can be very complicated to account for business ownership in a divorce because there are often disagreements regarding what the business is actually worth, as well the share that each spouse should receive.

The value of a business or business interests can be established in a number of different ways. One method, for example, can be used to establish the price that selling the business is likely to bring. A second method would be used to forecast the amount of revenue the business will bring in over a predetermined period of time. A third formula could be appropriate if you wish to simply figure out the net value of the assets belonging to the company minus any obligations or debts.

With his financial background and training, Mr. Ross understands that the right method or methods for your business interests will depend on a number of factors. Cash flow, for example, can vary dramatically based on the type of business and the market in which the business operates. He and his team will help you determine the most appropriate valuation process for your business and your unique circumstances.

Evaluating Each Spouse's Contributions

In addition to the monetary value of your business or business interests, you might also need to establish the value of contributions that you and your spouse made to the business, both directly and indirectly. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, each spouse's contribution to the value of the marital estate must be considered during the division of property. This includes contributions to the family business.

For example, you might have been the sole legal owner of your business, but your spouse might have worked many thousands of hours in the business over the course of many years. Your spouse's direct contributions must be taken into consideration. Likewise, if your business ventures kept you out of town for weeks at a time, the contributions of your spouse toward maintaining your home and caring for your children should be considered too.

Our team will work with you to determine a fair, accurate valuation of your business, as well as the contributions that you and your spouse have made during your marriage. It is our goal to ensure that your rights and best interested are fully protected and that you have the resources you need to get back on your feet after your divorce.

Contact a Wicker Park Business Valuation Lawyer

Business valuations can play a crucial role in a divorce, and it is important to have a skilled advocate at your side during the process. To learn more, contact The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC. Call 312-984-1514 to schedule a free limited consultation with Mr. Ross today. Our team serves clients throughout Cook County, Illinois, including but not limited to Chicago, Lincoln Park, Greektown, River North, Bucktown, Andersonville, West Loop, Gold Coast, Oak Park, DePaul Area, and Old Town.

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