Legal Question in Family Law in Washington

Divorce with business involved

I recently got divorced in March of this year, my ex had purchased a business before we got married. We borrowed money from my Dad to buy it. Am I entitled to a portion of the income from the business during the time we were married?

Asked on 10/13/07, 10:47 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Elizabeth Powell ELizabeth Powell PS Inc
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Re: Divorce with business involved

Short answer is yes. Question is if you are all ready divorced, did you ask for half the income in your petition or answer, and why wasn't this resolved before the divorce was final?

Maybe I am misunderstanding. The rule in WA is that when you marry your property becomes community property (with a few defined exceptions) and when you divorce, all the property of the parties, separate and community, is before the court for a just and equitable division. This is not 50-50, like California.

If the money from your father was a gift to you, separately, you also might be entitled to recover that. There is also "goodwill" - the value of the business, based on who contributed and who supported the other while creating the business.

Valuation of self-run businesses is an art. I certainly hope you will make an appointment and go see a family law attorney who understands business valuation issues.

Elizabeth Powell

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10/13/07, 10:56 am

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