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What Happens to a Professional Practice in a Divorce?

For doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, architects and other professionals who own and operate their own practices, the property division phase of divorce can be incredibly complex when making difficult decisions that can affect their personal, professional and financial lives.

When going through a difficult or complex divorce, it helps to work with accomplished professionals who appreciate the investments you have made in building your business or practice. As a firm committed to helping clients through high asset divorce and family law matters, our lawyers have comprehensive knowledge of California's community property laws and protect their clients' financial and professional interests throughout all phases of divorce and property division.

Make Intelligent Decisions

In California, a closely held business or professional practice is considered a marital asset. This means that the business is subject to division during divorce. This is important because in many instances, the business in question is one of the most lucrative assets the couple has.

In cases where the business was created during the marriage, the spouse of the business owner is entitled to a 50 percent share when dividing assets. If the business was created prior to the marriage, the spouse of the owner may receive half of the appreciated amount that accumulated during the marriage.

What Are My Options?

When it comes to valuating and dividing a professional practice or business, both parties will need to consider whether they want to retain their interests or reach a compromise for other assets. In many cases, the spouse who is the primary owner wants to keep the business by buying out the other. Once the value of the practice is set, the spouses can attempt to reach a compromise by:

  • Trading other assets and debts
  • Determining a cash settlement
  • Continuing as co-owners
  • Liquidating or selling the practice and dividing the proceeds

Of course, there are other options that may be available depending on the circumstances of your divorce and the nature of the business in question. By working with a lawyer who is skilled in resolving complex divorce matters, you can feel confident knowing your business and profession are well protected.

The Right Resources for the Job

Having the right tools makes any task easier. Having the right attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your divorce and the division of your marital property.

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