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Minnesota divorce: when a family-owned business is involved

The word "standard" rarely tops the list of any adjectives selected to depict the divorce process in general and any given marital dissolution in particular.

And the reason why is instantly clear, as we have noted in past blog posts: Without exception, every divorce in Minnesota and elsewhere is flatly unique in multiple ways.

Simply put, every divorce matter features considerations that are intensely personal and case-specific. Even though two divorce proceedings might centrally focus upon children, perhaps, or a distribution of assets, the details are necessarily -- and always will be -- entirely different.

Take a family-owned business, for example. Obviously, that is not a concern for many divorcing parties. Where it is, though, can it be possibly imagined that businesses featuring in two divorces are so similar that a generic and cookie-cutter legal approach can be taken to value and otherwise assess them? The answer is "no" from our perspective.

In fact, divorce-related family-owned business valuation is anything but a boilerplate concern. Rather, it typically poses a difficult and multifaceted challenge. In discussing the subject matter on our website at the Twin Cities-based Mack & Santana Law Offices, P.C., we note "the emotions and complexity of the financial issues that often come with divorces involving businesses."

And we use all our professional experience and client empathy to deal with them in an optimally effective fashion. We also work with financial experts and other experts that may be needed to address the complexities involved in valuing businesses and allocating the value of businesses in divorce cases.

This can -- and often does -- mean close involvement with financial experts such as accountants and appraisers. It requires candid and focused discussions with clients about what they want, what they believe is right and how the issues may be handled in court. It necessitates a studied analysis of a business entity's history, future earnings potential, inherent goodwill that might exist, stock valuation if applicable, and a host of other factors.

All such information must be assembled, carefully evaluated and then used in a manner that seeks to fully promote a client's best interests.

We welcome readers' questions and comments on this important tangent of family law.

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