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Own Your Own Business? You May Need an Expert Witness.

In divorce cases, sometimes it is easy to determine what an individual’s income is. A Wife works as a school teacher and makes $35,000 a year. A Husband works as a nurse and makes $45,000 a year. Those are both easy incomes to deal with in a divorce case. Sometimes, it is not that simple. For instance, say you are an owner of your own business. However, you own a 40% interest in the business and your business partner owns 60%. If you were to get divorced, the Court would need to know if your business was currently worth anything AND what income you derived from that business every year. Those are two different determinations and sometimes, two different kind of expert witnesses are involved. In Ohio, a Court cannot take both a portion of your business and give it to your spouse AND use that portion of the business in a spousal support calculation, that is considered “double dipping.” It goes against Ohio statutes O.R.C. 3105.171, regarding the division of marital property and O.R.C. 3105.18, regarding spousal support calculations.  In cases such as this, if the Court is concerned about how much an individual is claiming that they make yearly, the Court may need the help of an expert witness, like a vocational expert, to determine how much the individual could be making with skills such as theirs. In addition, the Court could also need the help of a business evaluator, to determine how much the individual’s business is worth and how much income the individual derives from the business. If you are considering divorce and own your own business, give our office a call.

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