In Indiana, all marital assets, except as otherwise excluded by law, are part of the marital estate a trial court can divide upon divorce. There is a presumption of an equal division (assets – liabilities). However, with certain professionals, this division is complex because of the complexity of what they do. This blog explores these concerns and some resolutions.
Perhaps, and first, with professionals who own a business or are involved in a practice (medical, dental, law). The value of business in terms of what it could be bought or sold for varies widely from almost nothing to significant amounts. For instance, a family owned furniture store may be worth a great deal sold when to a competitor. A doctor or lawyer’s business may be worth very little (other than physical assets, such as a building) due to the value being in the actual person. In these cases, it is usually necessary to get a business valuator involved in the case early on to move the case along and get a realistic value of this portion of the marital estate.
Second, with professionals who work within large companies, there are all sorts of benefits they may receive at present and in the future. One major issue is stock options. The general rule of law is those that are vested are a marital asset and those that are not are expectancy and not valued within the estate. Similarly, a pension has numerous sorts of valuation, such as a covertures fracture, which is merely one of the tools to value and others methods may result in a higher number for the judge to consider in division. These are technical legal issues that should be considered very early on in a divorce.
Third, while there are legal limits, the complexity of many professionals’ lives lends itself to considering and planning for divorce at a certain time in the future. This may help both parties, such as by allowing an expensive home to be listed and sold (the higher the listing price, the longer a home normally sits on the market). This would be while the spouses are not acrimonious and may lead to resolution of the marital problem and itself avoid divorce. This is complex consideration that may be worthy of consideration in the right case.
It is hoped this information about unique aspects of divorce for professionals helps make you a more enlightened legal consumer. This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. It is not intended as a solicitation for legal services or specific legal advice. This should be viewed as advertising material. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys handle complex assets in divorce cases throughout the state of Indiana.