Absent any valuation, court uses book value

BVWireIssue #259-4
April 24, 2024

marital dissolution/divorce
marital dissolution, book value, trial court

In an Ohio divorce case, neither the husband nor the wife engaged a valuation expert to appraise the family business, a small company that manufactures parts for racing cars, firearms, and paintball guns.

Off target: The trial court’s magistrate, without any submitted evidence, valued the company at $541,068, which was based on the amount of depreciable assets listed on the company’s tax return. The husband objected, which the trial court sustained. The magistrate then valued the company at $27,143, which was the book value. Then the wife objected, but the trial court overruled her objection and accepted the lower valuation. The wife appealed, contending that the valuation approach was inappropriate.

The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision. Because neither party presented any evidence of valuation, the trial court did not “abuse its discretion” by figuring the valuation the way it did.

The case is West v. West, 2024-Ohio-1086; 2024 Ohio App. LEXIS 1024; 2024 WL 1253031, and a case analysis and full court opinion are on the BVLaw platform.

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