At the Hulse Law Firm, we often have cases where one of the party’s owns his or her own business.  This is a unique situation, and often requires additional experts to get involved to value the business (which are called “business evaluations”, and sometimes, to determine what the owner’s actual income is for the purposes of determining maintenance and child support. 

When a spouse owns a business, it is very difficult to determine the “value” of that business without an expert involved.  Almost every business has some sort of value to it, and the person keeping the business is keeping the value of the business, in the same way the person keeping a retirement account keeps the value of the account. 

Oftentimes, the spouse not keeping the business, will get compensated for that value by getting more of another type of asset, or by receiving a payout over time for half the value of the business.

Additionally, an expert can look at the income of party who owns the business if there are concerns that a) a business owner is claiming more deductions than he or she should, b) a business owner is running personal expenses through the business, or c) there is a concern the owner is hiding earnings. 

It is important to note that a business can often be valued at 1-3x the annual income the business produces, so it is almost always advisable to have an expert value the business if you are the spouse that will not be keeping the business in the divorce.  This is not always the case,

If you or your spouse has a business, it would make sense to schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and to determined whether a business evaluation is needed.  Please call 720-773-2900 to schedule a consultation. For more information on the Hulse Law Firm, go to