Great turnout for the AAML/BVR National Divorce Conference

BVWireIssue #240-3
September 28, 2022

marital dissolution/divorce
divorce valuation, expert testimony, marital dissolution, marital estate

The AAML/BVR National Divorce Conference harkened back to prepandemic times as family law attorneys and valuation experts met in person in Las Vegas September 18-20. The AAML is the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. There were hundreds of attendees on-site, a dozen exhibitors, networking dinners, and some excellent sessions co-presented by attorneys and valuation experts. Here are some quick takeaways:

  • Companies have three years to file for the Employee Retention Tax Credit—this could potentially be a tax asset hidden by the business owner spouse; 
  • The first place to look for hidden cryptocurrency is tax records (the first page of the 1040 asks about it);
  • Attorneys should help the expert tailor his or her report and testimony to the learning style of the specific judge;
  • In divorce courts, comparability using the market approach is very narrowly defined, unlike in tax matters;
  • To estimate goodwill in some states, the excess earnings method is the “most used and abused method,” but “works great if done correctly”;
  • Judges like to do a side-by-side analysis of opposing experts’ valuations to help make their final decision (for an example, see “How Judges Compare Competing DCF Analyses,” in the July 2022 Business Valuation Update);
  • When doing valuations of hedge funds or private equity, examining audited financials is “critical”;
  • When testifying, watch your body language—it represents 55% of your total communication; and
  • Bring in a specialist if you need help with issues outside your wheelhouse, such as intellectual property, reasonable comp (vocational expert), businesses that own real estate, etc. 

Detailed coverage of the conference will be in the November issue of Business Valuation Update.

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