When one spouse owns a professional practice, such as a law firm, dental office, accounting firm, or medical practice, dividing it up for the purposes of a divorce can be difficult, at best. The most complex part of dividing a professional practice, and the issue about which the parties argue most frequently, is placing a value on the practice.
Not only is it hard to measure the success of a professional practice in the future, particularly depending on the economy, but it is even more difficult to value the goodwill portion of a professional practice. Goodwill is the element that makes professional practices stand apart from other types of businesses that spouses may own, and arguably is the most valuable portion of the practice. Simply defined, goodwill encompasses those intangible characteristics that generate business. It is the difference between the tangible or concrete assets of the business, such as the real estate and office fixtures, and the total value of the business. Goodwill often includes such elements such as reputation, name recognition, customer list, and trade secrets.
In order for you to reap the most benefits possible from the division of a professional practice in a divorce, you will need a Georgia divorce lawyer who has the skills and knowledge to value the practice correctly. There should be a clear distinction made between professional goodwill and personal goodwill, so as to both value the practice appropriately and be able to articulate these issues to the court.
Shaw Law Firm LLC has handled countless divorce cases involving significant marital assets, including professional practices. We know the ins and outs of property division under Georgia divorce law.
Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.
Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.