Dividing A Medical Practice In A Divorce
If you have worked hard as a medical professional to build your own practice, you may have extra concerns as you begin the divorce process. You may know that a typical divorce will divide marital assets, which will include your medical practice. However, as a doctor, chiropractor, dentist or another medical professional, you have likely spent decades building your practice and may be overwhelmed with how your livelihood will be affected in the process and aftermath of a divorce. Knowing your options regarding how a medical practice may be divided in a divorce can help you understand your legal rights in your divorce.
Making the Determination of Value
Valuation of a medical practice is different than simply dividing assets in a 50/50 fashion. In order to be divided in a divorce, the first step must be to make a determination of the value of the medical practice. Valuation of any type of medical practice will include both tangible and intangible components. In most cases, a valuation expert will be needed to interpret the exact accounting of physical equipment, physical property, financial records, intangible assets such as trademarks or intellectual property or the goodwill associated with the medical practice.
Additionally, determinations will need to be made regarding when the start of the medical practice occurred. If the medical practice occurred years before a marriage occurred, the division of the medical practice in a divorce may be much different than if the medical practice was started during the course of the marriage. Also, if there is a valid prenuptial agreement, this will likely affect how the medical practice is divided in a divorce.
Open for Business
As the valuation of the medical practice continues throughout the process of the divorce, one spouse may want to keep their medical practice open for business. One of the most common practices of divorces that include the division of a medical practice is to allow one spouse to “buy-out” the other spouse. This means that when the final determination of the value of the business occurs, the medical professional spouse pays the other half of the assets. In some cases, this final number can be quite large, and the court will allow one spouse to make payments to the other over time. Even more creative solutions can be found by finding assets in the marital home that can be used to offset the medical practice.
Let us Help You Today
If you have a medical practice and are considering a divorce, you have unique concerns regarding the division of your property. A valuation expert may be necessary to make an accurate determination of your medical practice. If you are facing this unique circumstance, contact an experienced Atlanta divorce attorney at The Solomon Firm. One of our compassionate attorneys will speak with you at 404-565-0641 today for a free consultation, and to help you understand your legal rights with respect to the medical practice it has taken you years to build.