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In Florida divorce, expert’s ‘with-and-without’ valuation withstands appeal

In a nasty Florida divorce case, an appellate court recently upheld the trial court’s valuation findings concerning the husband’s 50% interest in a successful company that operates in the waste disposal industry.

Court Remands for Determination of Separate Asset’s Premarital Value

Appellate court affirms that increase in value of husband’s company is subject to equitable distribution but says trial court erred when it assumed company had zero value on the date of marriage because company then was not profitable; court remands for determination of company’s premarital value.

Appreciation in Liquor Company’s Value Represents Marital Property, Appeals Court Finds

Appeals court upholds ruling that appreciation in value of husband’s interest in family liquor business is marital asset; trial court carefully analyzed husband’s role in company to find he “substantially contributed” to the increase and husband stipulated to wife’s substantial contribution.

Court Explains Treatment of Undistributed Earnings in Valuing Law Firm Partnership Interest

In valuing husband’s law firm partnership interest, court finds undistributed earnings, even though allocated to husband before separation, are not marital property because money was based on firm’s anticipated net profits; money was not earned during marriage but after parties’ separation.

Burchfield v. Burchfield

In valuing husband’s law firm partnership interest, court finds undistributed earnings, even though allocated to husband before separation, are not marital property because money was based on firm’s anticipated net profits; money was not earned during marriage but after parties’ separation.

Fox v. Fox

Appellate court affirms that increase in value of husband’s company is subject to equitable distribution but says trial court erred when it assumed company had zero value on the date of marriage because company then was not profitable; court remands for determination of company’s premarital value.

Lucchesi v. Lucchesi

Appeals court upholds ruling that appreciation in value of husband’s interest in family liquor business is marital asset; trial court carefully analyzed husband’s role in company to find he “substantially contributed” to the increase and husband stipulated to wife’s substantial contribution.

Court Looks to Owner’s ‘Proportionate’ Share in Business to Quantify Appreciation in Value

In quantifying marital portion of appreciation of owner spouse’s separate property, trial court relies on owner’s “proportionate” share in company but also considers expert testimony as to third parties’ efforts and owner’s role in generating revenue; court rejects passive factor analysis.

Herbert v. Joubert

In quantifying marital portion of appreciation of owner spouse’s separate property, trial court relies on owner’s “proportionate” share in company but also considers expert testimony as to third parties’ efforts and owner’s role in generating revenue; court rejects passive factor analysis.

Court Rejects Appreciation in Value Calculation, Citing SSVS Violations

In appreciation in value case, court excludes nonowner spouse’s valuation testimony under Daubert, finding expert’s calculation of “minimum marital component” is not a methodology approved under the applicable SSVS for determining fair market value and also violated other SSVS requirements.

Hebert v. Cote

In appreciation in value case, court excludes nonowner spouse’s valuation testimony under Daubert, finding expert’s calculation of “minimum marital component” is not a methodology approved under the applicable SSVS for determining fair market value and also violated other SSVS requirements.

Three different court rulings on the use of discounts in the divorce context

Case law matters. Every month, BVLaw analyzes the most noteworthy court decisions dealing with valuation and damages issues. Subscribers should check out digests of three recent divorce rulings different state courts issued. All the cases dealt with the issue of whether it was appropriate to discount the owner-spouse’s interest in a closely held business.

Tenn. Appeals Court says DLOM in divorce appropriate under facts of case

A recent Tennessee appeals court decision found that the trial court presiding over a drawn-out divorce had discretion to apply a marketability discount when it valued the owner-spouse’s interest in two companies in 2016.

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.

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.

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.

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.

McNee v. McNee

Trial court did not err in classifying owner-spouse’s personal loan to his business during marriage as a marital asset, appeals court finds; loan could be seen as an increase in value of owner’s business or a debt owed to parties, appeals court says.

Different Theories Justify Classifying Loan to Business as Marital Asset

Trial court did not err in classifying owner-spouse’s personal loan to his business during marriage as a marital asset, appeals court finds; loan could be seen as an increase in value of owner’s business or a debt owed to parties, appeals court says.

WA court’s goodwill analysis looks a lot like appreciation analysis

A recent Washington state divorce case included a noteworthy discussion of goodwill where the owner spouse’s business arguably was separate property. Divorce experts will notice that the court’s goodwill analysis has much in common with an appreciation analysis.

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.

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