No matter who you are, divorce is an experience that changes your life in many ways. For people who have significant professional accomplishments, divorce may cause even more of a stir with their complicated assets.
In cases of a high-asset divorce where one or both parties have complex assets – such as owning a dental practice – it’s integral that certain precautions are taken to avoid a contentious situation. There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that the business you worked hard to build isn’t placed at risk.
Make everything clear from the start
The best thing you can do to protect your dental practice is to have an appraisal done. With an independent valuation, the value of a practice can be clearly and indisputably defined. And while this prevents your estranged spouse from attempting to inflate the value of the practice, it also stops the dentist from trying to deflate its value. Both would give an inaccurate representation of the practice’s value, so the fairest move is to determine the value from an unbiased source.
Keep in mind that the more clearly you define the details of the ownership structure within your business, the more difficult it is for them to be misconstrued in a high-asset divorce. You can define whether the practice falls under the asset or real estate category. It’s also important to have all debt, both personal and business, outlined and understood.
Protecting your practice also means thinking about the future. If a spouse is an employee or has retirement benefits from the practice, it’s inevitable that these things will have to be taken care of. It’s best to plan for these factors rather than let them sneak up on you.
Divorce is a difficult process for anyone who has to go through it. It is made all the more difficult when complex assets like a dental practice are involved. You can make the burden of divorce easier while protecting your business by learning the law and taking certain precautions.