If you’re a physician who owns a private practice, your livelihood depends on the continued success of your business. You may have gotten into your profession to help others, but you cannot continue with this goal unless you can “keep the lights on” at your practice.
When divorcing as a medical professional in New Jersey you must consider how your business will fit into the divorce settlement. Your medical practice is likely a relevant marital asset, and it can be a headache to deal with if you don’t work with NJ men’s divorce lawyers for doctors.
Is My Practice A Marital Asset?
Most doctors’ practices will be considered a marital asset in their divorce. If you established or grew your practice during the marriage, your spouse is entitled to a portion of the practice’s value. However, if you had a thriving and well-established practice before ever getting married, there is a case to be made for it to be classified as a non-marital asset.
If your practice is still growing during your divorce and you manage to retain ownership, don’t let this headache happen in the future. You should consider potential issues that may pop up if you’re still building your practice when you remarry. One way to protect your medical practice in New Jersey divorce is to draft a prenuptial agreement the next time you’re thinking about walking down the aisle.
How Value Is Determined
The right family law attorney can help you maintain your medical practice independently after divorce, but first you’ll need an accurate valuation of your practice to ensure you don’t suffer unnecessary financial burden. Your NJ divorce lawyers for medical professionals will generally consult an appraiser to value your practice. They may also retain a financial neutral and other experts who can accurately evaluate the practice’s finances and ensure your divorce settlement is equitable.
It’s important to consider the present value of the practice in addition to its future earning potential. Your spouse’s attorney may argue that the practice is more valuable than the price you could get for it if you sold it today. This is why it’s so important to receive an accurate valuation before your attorney begins negotiations.
Will I Have to Sell My Practice?
In general, the claim made in the divorce is against the value of your practice, not the practice itself. Your spouse’s attorney is less interested in splitting up your practice and more interested in ensuring your spouse receives a compensatory amount of assets. In fact, in many jurisdictions, a non-physician cannot own a medical practice or employ a physician. Therefore, if your spouse is not a physician, he or she cannot take over a share of the medical practice as part of a divorce settlement. Always discuss your circumstances with your attorney first, but in most cases you can reassure your partners and employees that you will retain control of your portion of the practice. Even if your spouse is also a physician and you went into practice together, she can likely be bought out using other marital assets.
Divorce for medical doctors in NJ doesn’t have to be devastating. The Micklin Law Group’s team of attorneys for men’s and fathers’ rights is here to help support you during this challenging time. We want to ease the burden of divorce by aggressively fighting to keep you in control of your medical practice. Contact our team to learn how we can help.