If a spouse started a business during the course of a marriage, it is presumptively marital property in the State of New York. The question is how much is that business worth and what percentage would the non-titled spouse be entitled to? That is generally done through a court’s appointment of an expert, generally a forensic accountant, to ascertain the value of that business and sometimes the income stream from that business. Then, after that, arguments are made with regard to the non-titled spouse’s participation in that business, or through contributions as a homemaker. For example, raising the children and continuing the upkeep of the home. So even though they are not participating directly in the business, the contributions they have made are what facilitated the titled spouse’s ability to start that business and help get it to thrive. The argument of how much the business is worth is generally answered and addressed by the expert who is appointed by the court. After that, arguments are made with regard to how much of that value the non-titled spouse is entitled to based upon facts and circumstances surrounding their participation, either direct or indirect, in the development of that business.
Robert Pollack is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in Long Island, New York. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., to set up a free initial consultation.