Month: September 2017

Divorce and Family Business Valuation

Divorce and Family Business ValueMany couples in the U.S. are small business owners. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, figuring out what to do with the family business requires careful consideration.

If you and your spouse have a good working relationship and can put aside your differences, one option is to continue to own the business together. This allows both spouses to hold on to their respective interest in the business.

Sometimes the prospect of continuing a business relationship with an ex is not feasible. Another option for divorcing couples that share a business is to buy-out the other spouse’s interest. If this is an option you and your spouse are considering, it is important to have an experienced business appraiser conduct a business valuation of the company so that a fair market value or fair value can be determined.  Either spouse can then purchase the other’s half if they are able to raise the funds or use other assets in exchange.

If neither spouse wishes to continue with the business after a divorce, they may decide to sell the business to a third party. In this case, following the valuation, you and your spouse can sell the business and split the proceeds. This often requires continuing your business relationship for a period of time while the business is on the market.

Divorce and a Family Business

Because a divorce will certainly impact a business, married couples can benefit by thinking ahead. Before starting a business, it is a good idea to consider a prenuptial agreement, shareholder agreement or a buy-sell agreement to prevent a legal battle over the value of the assets if you divorce.

Hire an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering a divorce and have a family business, it is important to work with an experienced complex divorce lawyer to ensure that your interests are being served. A skilled negotiator can help you obtain a favorable outcome when dividing marital assets while reducing expensive legal fees.

Business Valuation in a Divorce

If you or your spouse decide to buy the other’s interest in the business or sell the business outright, your divorce attorney can help you obtain a reputable business appraiser to perform a business valuation. If possible, it is recommended that you and your spouse agree to hire only one business valuation firm to be able to save on expenses. Following a valuation, your attorney can help you interpret the valuation so that you can make an informed decision on the disposition of the business.

Running a Family Business After Divorce

Beyond the legal proceedings, divorce can have lasting effects on the business if one or both spouses decide to keep the business going. Thoughtful consideration should be given to a change in the financial situation following a divorce. If one spouse is buying the business from the other, certainly the loss of a business partner will change how you run the business. For couples who decide to continue running a business after they divorce, consider how your roles in the company may need to change to ensure your continued success.

Contact an Experienced Family Business Valuation Divorce Attorney

If you are considering a divorce and own a family business, contact an experienced Wisconsin business valuation divorce attorney for answers to your questions regarding the division of marital assets with a small business. Contact us online or call today at 414-210-3135.

Child Custody Dispute : The Role of the Guardian Ad Litem

custody visitation lawyer and attorney wisconsinIf divorcing parents cannot agree on a custody and visitation arrangement for their child, the court may assign a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the interests of a child in a Wisconsin child custody dispute.

Contested Child Custody and Visitation

A guardian ad litem is a person the court appoints to investigate what solutions are in the best interests of the child. They are typically appointed in contested child custody and visitation cases, but they may also be involved in adoptions, termination of parental rights cases or other cases that require more information about the child’s circumstances.

A GAL can look at things such as where the child should live most of the time, whether there are issues of substance abuse, or what contact a child should have with a parent. Depending on what is in the court order, a GAL may be asked to report on the overall situation and offer a custody recommendation to the court or their role may be limited to investigating a few specific issues.

The best interests of the child are first and foremost in a disputed custody case, of course. The GAL’s recommendation should strive to protect the child’s right to a meaningful, engaged relationship with both parents when possible factoring in the child’s age, the existing relationship with each parent, the stability of the home environments, and each parent’s ability to care for the child among other considerations.

A Guardian ad litem is typically an attorney or a mental health professional who has undergone special training to represent the best interests of a child. In some cases, a parent may feel that a guardian ad litem is not working effectively on behalf of their child, which may be resolved by sharing your concerns with the GAL or sharing your concerns with the court.

Within the general provisos of the Order, a GAL is required to inform the court when his or her recommendation is not in sync with a child’s wishes. To protect privacy, the report provided by the GAL is sealed so that only the parties to the custody dispute and the court can access the information. Your cooperation with the GAL is required by law and it is not permitted to exercise undue influence over your child to gain advantage during the evaluation.

Wisconsin Child Custody Dispute Lawyers

If you have questions regarding child custody in a divorce, contact the Wisconsin child custody dispute lawyers of Probst Law Offices for assistance. If you are dealing with a child custody or visitation matter, it is important to have an experienced Wisconsin family law attorney on your side. Attorneys Jane Probst and Lyndsay White have successfully represented many clients who have family law issues regarding the custody of their children in a divorce. Contact our offices at 414-210-3135 for a free consultation of your case.