New case affirms treatment of goodwill in Indiana divorces

BVWireIssue #234-4
March 23, 2022

marital dissolution/divorce
capitalization rate, cash flow, discount for lack of marketability (DLOM), earnings, officer compensation, management fees

In Indiana, enterprise goodwill is includable in the marital estate, but personal goodwill is not (see BVR’s Charting Goodwill map). A recent case affirms this and also affirms that testimony should be given as to the amount of personal and enterprise goodwill in order to have the court determine the amount to be included in the marital estate. The valuation was done by a court-appointed expert, who appraised the wife’s home healthcare businesses (she was a registered nurse). The wife appealed the court’s decision to include enterprise goodwill in the marital estate and asked the court to ignore the expert’s testimony. She contended that the asset approach should be used for the valuation (assets minus liabilities), but the appraiser rejected that approach because it does not reflect any goodwill. The appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial court.

The case is Adewopo v. Jaja, 2022 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 58; 2022 WL 18960, and a case analysis and full opinion are available on the BVLaw platform.

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