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Family Matters: Standard of Value, DLOM/DLOC Discounts and Drama in BV

A buried body, sex surrogates, and family-owned business create a dramatic background for a recent court case impacting valuation. With complex minority discounts, this case kicks off a compelling discussion of key issues in family law. Experts Stacey Udell, Neil Beaton, and Ron Seigneur tackle these thorny issues with clarity and comedy. Get treated to the tricks and tips you’ll want when your next family-owned business engagement rings your doorbell.

How to value a business and settle a divorce during COVID-19; divorce professionals share tips

How do you resolve a divorce case during COVID-19, when many businesses in all kinds of industries are coping with significant losses and continuing uncertainty over future performance? This was the topic of an excellent panel discussion that was part of the recent virtual AAML/BVR divorce conference.

Bates v. Bates

In appreciation case, appeals court says it was error to value owner’s separate, minority interest in car dealership based on buy-sell agreement; however, alternate valuation by nonowner spouse’s expert offered based on standard methods, including use of discounts, provided “appropriate valuation.”

Buy-Sell Stock Agreement Does Not Determine Value of Owner Spouse’s Separate Property

In appreciation case, appeals court says it was error to value owner’s separate, minority interest in car dealership based on buy-sell agreement; however, alternate valuation by nonowner spouse’s expert offered based on standard methods, including use of discounts, provided “appropriate valuation.”

Horne-Ballard v. Ballard

In divorce case, Alabama appeals court upholds trial court’s admission of calculation of value from qualified expert for medical practice; appeals court agrees with lower court that objections to methodology go toward weight and expert’s credibility; court lets earlier Rohling decision stand.

Alabama Appeals Court Affirms Calculation of Value Is Admissible and Lets Rohling Stand

In divorce case, Alabama appeals court upholds trial court’s admission of calculation of value from qualified expert for medical practice; appeals court agrees with lower court that objections to methodology go toward weight and expert’s credibility; court lets earlier Rohling decision stand.

Valuing a Financial Advisor’s Book of Business

A court may not immediately recognize the value of a financial advisor’s collection of client relationships. The author illustrates this based on a case in which he was one of the testifying experts and also discusses various perspectives on the valuation.

BV expert shows how to produce a viable valuation with little financial data available

BV expertise matters, as a recent Florida divorce case shows in which the parties’ experts faced the challenge of valuing a company that once operated abroad but was sold a decade before the divorce trial.

Perser v. Perser

Court upholds award to nonowner spouse related to value of husband’s medical practice where husband bought practice prior to marriage and was sole owner; court notes there was goodwill attributable to the business and finds other factors indicate business had assets that were marital property.

Factors Other Than Goodwill Support Award to Nonowner Spouse Related to Owner’s Medical Practice

Court upholds award to nonowner spouse related to value of husband’s medical practice where husband bought practice prior to marriage and was sole owner; court notes there was goodwill attributable to the business and finds other factors indicate business had assets that were marital property.

Coverture Fraction Method Best BV Approach in Face of Lack of Financial Data

In divorce case, appellate court affirms use of coverture fraction method to determine marital value of husband’s firm on the valuation date (1995), where company operated abroad, “normal” financial documents were not available, and interest was sold a decade before the divorce trial.

Kvinta v. Kvinta

In divorce case, appellate court affirms use of coverture fraction method to determine marital value of husband’s firm on the valuation date (1995), where company operated abroad, “normal” financial documents were not available, and interest was sold a decade before the divorce trial.

Stephanos v. Stephanos (In re Marriage of Stephanos)

Trial court adopts goodwill value determination of wife’s expert (residual method) as well as expert’s finding that none of goodwill in family business is personal to owner spouse; business’s success was not dependent on owner’s continued presence or his execution of a noncompete, court says.

Divorce Court Finds No Personal Goodwill Value in Single-Owner Business

Trial court adopts goodwill value determination of wife’s expert (residual method) as well as expert’s finding that none of goodwill in family business is personal to owner spouse; business’s success was not dependent on owner’s continued presence or his execution of a noncompete, court says.

Using Jensen’s Alpha to Separate Active and Passive Appreciation

The author presents an alternate approach (Jensen’s alpha) to segregating passive from active increases in the value of a marital asset. An example is presented of an automobile dealer.

Letter to the Editor: Response to Article on Separating Active and Passive Appreciation in the Value of a Marital Asset

The author says there are flaws in Dr. Ashok Abbott’s approach to segregating passive from active increases in the value of a marital asset—and he presents an alternate approach.

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.

Tenn. appeals court muddies the waters regarding use of DLOM in divorce valuation

So much for clarity. A recent Tennessee appeals court decision hinged on the issue of whether a marketability discount was appropriate in the valuation of the husband’s interests in three real estate development partnerships. In reviewing the trial court’s analysis, the appeals court suggested that the lower court misunderstood the principle behind DLOM but ultimately upheld the lower court’s findings. The resulting decision leaves valuators in a pickle as to when to apply the discount and at what rate.

Florida court resists call for bright-line rule on active-passive appreciation

In this age of entrepreneurship, valuators working on divorce cases often run into the issue of active and passive appreciation. But this issue not only comes up in the context of one spouse's ownership of a business that qualifies as separate property, as a recent Florida appeals court ruling shows. The case involved the husband's separate ownership of stock in a company for which he worked and the stock's substantial appreciation in value during the marriage. The wife asked for a rule "that all appreciation of the stock of a company for which a spouse works is a marital asset."

Florida court explores scope of active/passive appreciation

A Florida appeals court examines the issue of whether the increased value of stock from a company for which the owning spouse works can be a marital asset and subject to distribution.

Message to divorce courts: FMV may not be equitable

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