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Michigan court explains treatment of S corp’s retained earnings in divorce

The overarching issue in a recent Michigan divorce case was appreciation. Did the nonowner spouse (wife) have a right to a portion of the increase in value of her husband’s separate property, an S corporation? A related issue, and one that posed a question of first impression in Michigan, was how to treat the company’s retained earnings.

Goodman v. Goodman

Appeals court upholds trial court’s finding of enterprise goodwill, finding husband’s habit of periodically placing business assets in his children’s names as well as wife’s significant involvement in the business indicate business was “transferable.”

Owner’s Problematic Business Practices Support Finding of Enterprise Goodwill

Appeals court upholds trial court’s finding of enterprise goodwill, finding husband’s habit of periodically placing business assets in his children’s names as well as wife’s significant involvement in the business indicate business was “transferable.”

Telfer v. Telfer

In context of determining appreciation in value, appeals court says trial court did not err when it applied DLOM in valuing partial interests in businesses representing wife’s separate property; DLOM use is within trial court’s discretion and depends on facts of the case.

Tennessee Appeals Court Defers to Trial Court on DLOM Use in Divorce

In context of determining appreciation in value, appeals court says trial court did not err when it applied DLOM in valuing partial interests in businesses representing wife’s separate property; DLOM use is within trial court’s discretion and depends on facts of the case.

Business Valuation Update Yearbook, 2018 Edition

February 2018 Hardcover, PDF

BVR (editor)

Business Valuation Resources, LLC

BVR has you covered with the Business Valuation Update Yearbook 2018. This newest edition from the publishers of Business Valuation Update covers the year’s most groundbreaking and thought-provoking advancements in business valuation, and more. This critical desktop reference keeps you ahead of your peers with on-the-ground reporting from valuation experts, thought-leaders, and BVR’s editorial team. Learn more >>

Michigan Court Explains How to Handle Retained Earnings in Divorce Cases

In deciding whether, in divorce, retained earnings in a closely held company that is separate property are includible in marital estate, appeals court creates presumption against inclusion and requires trial court to perform totality of circumstances review.

Jensen v. Jensen

In deciding whether, in divorce, retained earnings in a closely held company that is separate property are includible in marital estate, appeals court creates presumption against inclusion and requires trial court to perform totality of circumstances review.

Montana Supreme Court Remands for Failure to Assess Tax Implications

High court says trial court erred when it failed to consider tax implications where its final order appears to make sale of family ranch a necessity; evidence suggests there are no other assets with which to buy wife’s shares of ranch corporation at FMV.

Tax Effects Are Relevant to Equitable Distribution Analysis

Reviewing court says in valuing owner spouse’s auto transport business and performing equitable distribution analysis, trial court erred when it refused to consider tax effects of potential sale of business before assigning asset to owner; case remanded.

Math and Logic Problems Mar Court’s Valuation and Division of Assets

Appeals court finds incongruities in trial court’s unreported cash income and profit rate inputs make court’s valuation of timber business meaningless; further, trial court failed to explain reason for equalization payment and arrived at incorrect amount.

Stocker v. Stocker

Trial court did not err in adopting income-based valuation offered by husband’s expert; appeals court calls husband’s attack on his own expert “counterintuitive” where expert explained the value of the company was in its cash flow rather than its assets.

Court Rebuffs Litigant’s Attack on Own Expert’s Income-Based Valuation

Trial court did not err in adopting income-based valuation offered by husband’s expert; appeals court calls husband’s attack on his own expert “counterintuitive” where expert explained the value of the company was in its cash flow rather than its assets.

Nebraska Supreme Court Adopts Majority View on Appreciation

State Supreme Court adopts active appreciation rule, aligning itself with majority of jurisdiction that finds appreciation of nonmarital asset is marital property to the extent marital efforts caused it, i.e., the owner or nonowner spouse or both.

New Jersey Court’s Inadequate Goodwill Ruling Begets Rebuke and Remand

In a case about lawyer’s equity partner interest in a large firm, appellate court finds prior ruling was grossly deficient; expert testimony suggested the owner spouse’s compensation matched his earning capacity and there was no additional goodwill compon ...

Vedros v. Vedros

Court says discounting for lack of marketability of minority interest in home healthcare agency, operating as an S corporation, is appropriate where LLC agreement included transfer restrictions and partners were not planning to buy out owner spouse.

Facts Support Discounts in Valuation of Small Healthcare Agency

Court says discounting for lack of marketability of minority interest in home healthcare agency, operating as an S corporation, is appropriate where LLC agreement included transfer restrictions and partners were not planning to buy out owner spouse.

Brusach v. Brusach

In divorce case featuring veterinary practice, appeals court finds trial court did not err when it did not differentiate between personal and enterprise goodwill and trial court’s spousal support determination did not represent unlawful double dipping.

Court Declines to Set Firm Rules on Goodwill and Double Dipping

In divorce case featuring veterinary practice, appeals court finds trial court did not err when it did not differentiate between personal and enterprise goodwill and trial court’s spousal support determination did not represent unlawful double dipping.

Trial Court’s Physician Practice Valuation Lacks Factual Basis

Goodwill, excess earnings method, market-based approach, capitalization rate, multiple, expert testimony, professional corporation, professional practice, valuation methods ...

Abedi v. Abedi

Court of Appeal says trial court’s valuation of husband’s endodontic practice was arbitrary where trial court adopted valuation methods husband’s experts proposed but substituted key elements of their analyses with court’s own unsubstantiated figures.

Muszynski v. Muszynski

Trial court adopts valuations of wife’s expert for husband’s 50% interest in waste industry company, finding expert used methods that properly separated out husband’s personal goodwill; court also accepts inclusion of identifiable intangibles shown to belong to company; appeals court affirms.

Court Validates Expert’s Method for Separating Out Owner’s Personal Goodwill

Trial court adopts valuations of wife’s expert for husband’s 50% interest in waste industry company, finding expert used methods that properly separated out husband’s personal goodwill; court also accepts inclusion of identifiable intangibles shown to belong to company; appeals court affirms.

Appreciation Case Highlights Contribution by Nonowner Spouse

Increase in value of owner’s minority interests in companies was due to owner’s efforts, which were “facilitated” by nonowner’s work in home; appreciation was active and marital property; no error in awarding nonowner half of profits from sale of assets.

Court Highlights Role of Community Labor in Goodwill Analysis

Appeals court says record supports nonowner spouse’s claim to a share of owner’s CPA’s practice; business changed from separate to community property, and most of its value consisted of professional goodwill, which was created by community labor.

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