Divorce affects business valuation and credit card debt

| May 1, 2020 | Property Division |

Valuation of a business in Cumming, Georgia, and disputes over credit card debts commonly confront couples seeking a divorce. State law calls for an equitable division of marital property. Equitable does not necessarily mean a completely equal split if evidence warrants an adjustment to your divorce settlement. The law recognizes that many factors may justify deviation from a fully 50/50 property division.

Influence of marriage on business valuation

Your business or professional practice could be wholly or partially subject to property division. Owning a business prior to the marriage might insulate it somewhat from a complete division of value, but an increase in the business’s value during the marriage places that segment of value within the marital estate. Contributing marital assets to the business or having your spouse work at the business likely increases its footprint within the marital estate. Any contributions that your spouse made to the business will likely grant that person a share of value in the divorce settlement.

Extent of credit card debt liability

Credit card debts that originated during your marriage generally leave you responsible for at least 50 percent of the debt. Creditors for accounts bearing both of your names could even attempt to impose full responsibility for payment on you.

The law may limit your responsibility for certain debts when evidence shows that the liability would be unfair to you. For example, credit card expenses related to a spouse’s activities during an affair could convince a judge to shift that responsibility fully onto the spouse who made the purchases. However, if those expenses were charged on a joint account, you might want to explore your legal options for dealing with a creditor who wants to hold you responsible anyway.

Qualified legal representation

Advice and representation from a family law attorney knowledgeable about high-asset divorce might help you attain a fair divorce settlement. Ideally, your attorney will have access to resources like a forensic accountant so that you can negotiate or litigate the settlement on the basis of accurate financial disclosures.

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