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Fair v. Fair

The primary issue in this appeal was the value of Surgical Imaging Specialists Inc. (SIS), a subchapter S corporation that the parties formed in 2002. Stephan Fair, the husband, was the sole registered shareholder of SIS. Darlene Fair, the wife, was listed on all tax returns as an equal owner. The trial court awarded all community property interest to the husband and eliminated 25% of SIS’ goodwill as personal goodwill. On appeal, the husband contended that the trial court undervalued the personal goodwill discount and failed to apply a discount for lack of marketability. The husband also appealed the separate property award of an IRA account and a reimbursement to the wife for additional salary payments made by SIS to the husband. The court of appeal affirmed the trial court value of SIS, remanded the issue of IRA gains, and affirmed the reimbursement for additional salary payments.

Appellate Court Rules on the Value of the Marital Business as to Personal Goodwill, Minority, Liquidity, and Marketability Discounts

The primary issue in this appeal was the value of Surgical Imaging Specialists Inc. (SIS), a subchapter S corporation that the parties formed in 2002. Stephan Fair, the husband, was the sole registered shareholder of SIS. Darlene Fair, the wife, was listed on all tax returns as an equal owner. The trial court awarded all community property interest to the husband and eliminated 25% of SIS’ goodwill as personal goodwill. On appeal, the husband contended that the trial court undervalued the personal goodwill discount and failed to apply a discount for lack of marketability. The husband also appealed the separate property award of an IRA account and a reimbursement to the wife for additional salary payments made by SIS to the husband. The court of appeal affirmed the trial court value of SIS, remanded the issue of IRA gains, and affirmed the reimbursement for additional salary payments.

Active and Passive Appreciation in Valuation: Finding the Line

Breaking up is hard, but harder still is appropriating the appreciation of the marital estate during the marriage. The most troubling issue with active and passive appreciation in divorce cases is applying a method based on sound theory, good empirical evidence, and a clear common-sense framework. Ashok Abbott demonstrates a methodology and supporting evidence to isolate passive appreciation successfully. By working through a practice-ready example, you’ll be sure to come away with a new appreciation ...

Larchick v. Pollock

The trial court (TC) in this case excluded the evidence of a business valuation expert because he had submitted a calculation of value report and was then asked to testify to it. The expert self-admitted that he would not testify to a calculation of value and had explained in his engagement letter that a valuation engagement would be required for testimony. Despite the exclusion by the TC and the self-admission of the inadequacy of a calculation of value for testimony purposes, the appellate court nevertheless remanded the case in part to determine whether the calculation of value met the requirements of Arizona Rule 702 for allowable evidence.

Arizona Appeals Court Says a Calculation of Value Is Not Per Se Unacceptable

The trial court (TC) in this case excluded the evidence of a business valuation expert because he had submitted a calculation of value report and was then asked to testify to it. The expert self-admitted that he would not testify to a calculation of value and had explained in his engagement letter that a valuation engagement would be required for testimony. Despite the exclusion by the TC and the self-admission of the inadequacy of a calculation of value for testimony purposes, the appellate court nevertheless remanded the case in part to determine whether the calculation of value met the requirements of Arizona Rule 702 for allowable evidence.

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.”

Papin v. Papin

High court upholds classification and valuation of husband’s investment management business, noting business consists of book of business, which can exist without owner, and owner’s skills and expertise, which are his separate property; proceeds from sale of book of business are community property.

Trajectory of Owner’s Investment Management Business Raises Characterization and Valuation Issues

A complex divorce case in front of the Idaho Supreme Court featuring an investment management business that the husband had set up before and sold during the marriage raised noteworthy issues about the nature of the business and the characterization and valuation of its various components (book of business vs. owner’s skills). A related flashpoint was whether the nonowner spouse was entitled to any appreciation (enhancement) in the value of the business that occurred ...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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