Splitsville: Divorce and the closely held business owner

By: Erin D. Hollis, ASA, CDBV

For many business owners who are married to each other, the business is both the most valuable and most illiquid asset in the marital estate. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that if owners divorce, the business will be an asset that could spark substantial controversy and conflict. Further, without preparation and precaution, the consequences of divorce can have a devastating financial impact on a business. If either you or your business partners are contemplating divorce, or if divorce is imminent, consider the following:
1. Who Should Perform the Business Valuation?
2. What Is to be Valued?
3. How Will the Divorce Impact the Business?

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