The private owner of a business in Pennsylvania will encounter challenges when dividing assets during a divorce. The valuation of a business generally requires an assessment by an appraiser knowledgeable about business accounting. The final figure assigned to the business could influence settlement distributions and child or spousal support amounts.
A valuation professional will examine financial records, business assets, income and the how the market could impact future earnings. An appraiser might also tour business operations and meet with managers to gain a better understanding of the state of affairs. In some cases, a business owner might attempt to conceal value by hiding income or exaggerating expenses. The desire to reduce a payout to an ex-spouse motivates deceptions of this nature. An independent appraiser might spot these tricks and avoid being misled.
After determining a business's value, a business owner might need to make adjustments during the divorce negotiations. The law might view a spouse receiving ongoing support payments and a distribution from the business as double dipping. Another adjustment might be appropriate if a person owned a business prior to the marriage. The marital estate might then only include the amount that a business appreciated since the date of marriage.
Legal guidance often proves informative during the process of valuing a business. A person going through a divorce could gain insights from an attorney about rights to certain assets. A legal review of a valuation could help a person understand how the law could direct the division of marital property. An attorney might manage negotiations with the other party to buffer the person from hostile discussions. Suggestions from an attorney might broker compromises that prevent costly litigation.