Guidance for valuators on Washington state double dip jurisprudence

Double dipping is a tricky issue because different states have developed different approaches to it. Valuators specializing in divorce issues must know the controlling case law in the state in which they practice.

The Washington Court of Appeals recently clarified its state's analytical framework in a case featuring a successful management consulting business the husband had set up and grown during the marriage.

The trial court awarded the company to the husband and awarded half of the value to the wife. In addition, it ordered the husband to pay the wife limited but substantial monthly maintenance. Both sides' valuation experts used an income approach to value the company.

When the husband objected that awarding the wife maintenance payments and half of the value of the company represented double recovery, the trial court rejected the argument as a matter of law.

The appeals court affirmed. Its discussion focused on the fact that the business was a going concern that had provided the husband with substantial income and was expected to do so in the foreseeable future.

For more details on the court's analysis, click here.

Rob Levin, an expert on the double dip issue, approved of the Washington court's analysis. 

We welcome your comments.