Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.

Covid has taught us not to take anything for granted. The obvious thing we could count on was our good health. Now that is no longer a given (and we are lucky if we can say this!) our plans need to have a safety component. It isn’t just ourselves that we have to protect, it’s also our loved ones and our community. But what about our finances? Covid upheavals have remade our world: this means the infrastructure we are used to relying on becomes bumpy, and this is also the case in the world of our finances. Any covid related financial fluctuations – but also government assistance – can affect a business valuation. If we are divorcing, this makes it even more trying to plan our exit from a marriage.

Although it might not be very romantic, marriage is a business, too. And if you have a business, there is an emotional investment which can make decision-making less rational. We are California mediators who help West Coast spouses getting a divorce to evaluate where the emotional meets the financial so they can make rational decisions. We have financial, legal and psychoanalytical expertise, and have experience doing business mediation and negotiation. By unpacking real interests and desires and doing a thorough analysis of your mutual financial situation, we ensure that the decisions couples make when they divorce are in line with the changing reality and their true needs.

Divorcing with a Business in 2020

Divorcing when you have significant financial interest in a business or own a business is not something you want to take lightly. In 2020 these decisions require even more care and foresight. Here are some of the ways that extraordinary times can impact your business decisions in divorce:

  1. When people divorce and own a business together one partner often sells their share. What happens when the business is valued much lower than normal? Will this decision seem fair when the business starts to rebound and one partner received much less than the business is normally worth? Divorcing couples may want to time the sale of the business in a way that suits them, or agree to revisit these agreements if circumstances change.
  2. Your business valuation can be affected by a temporary bump due to the CARES Act stimulus and the Paycheck Protection Program, which may be repaid or not depending on what conditions are met. Allowances may need to be made for loans and government stimulus funds that can skew the value of your business when you divide your assets during divorce.
  3. On the other hand, if one partner is looking to buy the other partner out, that spouse may get their share of the business at a lower price, which may influence their ability to pay for other aspects of the divorce. Lower business valuations and hence lower tax may also make it a good time to transfer business interests to a trust and gift or transfer to family members.

Only you can make the decisions that are best for you. Our financially qualified mediators make this easier by working with you to perform a thorough analysis of your financial situation, including if/then contingencies for possible market scenarios during the pandemic.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are caring, well-educated West Coast mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. This may include a review of your parenting plan, spousal support calculations, community property equalization, settlement agreement, and all other aspects of your case. We can either confidentially present you with a private analysis, or mediate the conflict with both of you until resolved. Any resolution you come to will be informed by a deeper analysis of the conflict that can be psychoanalytic and/or more financially-focused. Conflict analysis can result in a more optimized understanding of the net community property, which adds value to the overall estate, benefiting you both. Our specially trained divorce mediator-accountants can also help reveal and investigate the proven financial facts of a divorce to make a full financial appraisal of your divorce and to suggest creative solutions for financial planning after divorce. Our high-level divorce mediation services are tailored to the needs of people with complex lives or divorces that may be difficult or protracted. We can intervene to break litigation deadlocks when divorces are already underway. We also mediate in a variety of business and corporate environments and do deal mediation to assist individuals making complex business deals. We can apply our experience with business mediation to situations where marriage and financial or business interests are intertwined. We work with individuals from several cultures and countries, and can help with national and international relocation issues associated with divorce. Our remote mediations are safe, socially distant and completely confidential, secured by two private servers. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

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