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Joint business - complicating Colorado property division

Property division in Colorado during a divorce can be complicated . In most cases, divorcing couples will make choices about furniture, cars, homes and other tangible assets. However, sometimes property division can be complicated. This is especially true when a couple is forced to divide up a business.

Colorado residents might remember Frank and Jamie McCourt. The couple's high profile divorce received lots of media attention in early 2012. The couple jointly owned the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, a fact that complicated property division. During the divorce, Jamie won a settlement of $181 million. Frank claimed his assets amounted to $300 million.

Shortly thereafter, Frank McCourt sold the baseball team for more than $2 billion. Frank maintains that he did not know the value of the team at the time of the divorce. However, Jamie believes her ex-husband committed fraud and will soon have her day in court.

A recent news report suggests that couples should determine the value of the business before the divorce. To do this, it is recommended that couples use an appraiser who has access to company finances and records to help establish a fair market price. After that, each party can choose whether to buy or sell his or her share of the company to the other party, or sell the company and divide the profits.

Most Colorado couples will never face the dynamics, and substantial assets, encompassed in the McCourt divorce. It is important for divorcing business owners to recognize the need for professional guidance as part of the property division process. As such, many couples choose to turn to the support of a legal advocate.

Source: phillyburbs.com, "Dividing Up the Business in a Divorce?" Loretta Hutchinson, June 7, 2013

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