Many marriages rely on a family business for their main source of income. It can be a significant asset and one that needs to be carefully reviewed due to the substantial impact it can have on a property settlement.
Unfortunately, one of the symptoms of a downturn in business may be a divorce. In my experience very few business people just blurt out they want a divorce. They have more than likely thought about this, consulted with their accountant and lawyer, and after a period of getting their ducks in a row have finally delivered the news that they wish to terminate the marriage. This period of “prior preparation” of getting everything in place may take up to two years.
A business valuation may reveal what action, if any, was deliberately taken to reduce the value in the business so it will have less of an input into the property settlement.