When any couple is going through a divorce, one of the most important steps is determining the value of all the marital assets, including business ventures. Connecticut places no limitations on the types of property that are subject to division in a divorce. If one person keeps an asset, his or her spouse will receive some type of offset for its value. The goal is to reach an equitable division of assets.
In the case of a physician who is getting divorced, the medical practice will be subject to evaluation as a financial asset. In preparation for such an evaluation, some aspects that will be subject to careful consideration include:
• The nature of the practice whether it be group or individual
• How the practice was funded
• Whether or the practice issued stock to members
• The presence of a buy/sell agreement if applicable
• Whether there is ownership stake or stock in the practice to which the member could be entitled following the divorce if that person had acquired the stake during the marriage
Each of the factors mentioned above has an effect on the total value of the practice. This kind of evaluation is generally performed by a qualified forensic accountant with a background in medical practice assessment. The forensic accountant will consider the financial and tangible assets of the practice, such as the office lease, furniture, office equipment and accounts receivable. Liabilities will also be considered by the accountant, which may include insurance costs, taxes and contributions to loans and retirement plans. The accountant may also look at factors such as the profitability of the practice and the value of the real estate location.
The fair division of assets is complex in the case of a physician. There are many factors to consider, such as the worth of the medical practice. A physician who is getting divorced might work with an attorney with a background in high-asset divorces who understands the complexities involved and can offer guidance and support throughout the divorce process.