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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

DuPage County | 630-852-9700

Mokena | 815-727-6144   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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DuPage County Business Valuation in Divorce Attorneys

Rolling Meadows Business Ownership in Divorce Lawyers

Lawyers Protect Divorcing Business Owners in Oak Brook, Elmhurst and Villa Park

At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we understand that owning a business is often seen as the embodiment of the proverbial American Dream. Sadly, when the owner of such a business gets divorced, things may quickly deteriorate and become a nightmare. A family-owned or closely-held business can affect divorce proceedings in a number of ways—most of which pertain to the division of marital assets. In some cases, a business adds complexity to an already complicated situation while in others, a business can be used to hide assets and income. If you or your spouse own a business and you are getting divorced, our attorneys can help you navigate the process.

Business Valuations in Illinois

Under Illinois law, marital property is defined as property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. There are few exceptions to this rule. As a result, if you buy, open, or invest in any company during your marriage, your business interests will almost certainly be considered marital property in the event of a divorce. Before a marital asset can be divided, its value must be determined, and our lawyers are equipped to help you value your business holdings.

There are several ways in which a value can be established for a business, and the right one to use will depend on your circumstances and plans for the future. For example, if you and your spouse are likely to sell the business and divide the proceeds, it will be necessary to use a method that determines a fair sale price. A different approach would be necessary to evaluate the future earnings that the business is likely to generate. 

The team at Wakenight & Associates, P.C. will work with you in deciding which method or methods will best suit your needs. We also maintain a trusted network of financial professionals, including accountants and other experts with experience in business valuations. With more than 95 years of experience, our attorneys will assist you in establishing your business's value so that your rights are fully protected during your divorce.

Oak Book Lawyers for Hidden Assets and Forensic Accounting

In a highly-contentious or bitter divorce, it is not uncommon for one spouse to attempt to manipulate the process by hiding assets or concealing revenue streams. The goal of such behavior is usually to keep those assets or revenues "safe" from being divided during the divorce. For a spouse who owns a business, hiding assets can be quite easy and rather tempting.

For example, a spouse could attempt to hide marital assets by pulling money out of personal accounts and putting it into business accounts. Similarly, a spouse with control over the company's payroll could deliberately avoid paying himself or herself in the months leading up to the divorce so that his or her income seems to be far less than it actually is.

The reality, however, is that concealed assets almost never stay that way, especially when there is someone looking for them. In today's digitally connected world, moving money around creates a trail that can be followed by professionals who have been trained to recognize inconsistencies in affidavits and financial records. These professionals are called forensic accountants, and they can be a valuable part of your divorce team.

If you believe that your spouse has not been entirely truthful about his or her finances, we will enlist the help of a forensic accountant to take a closer look. The forensic accountant will analyze business statements, personal accounts, tax documents, receipts, and any other records that may be available to find hidden assets or concealed revenue. Hidden assets can give your spouse an unfair advantage during your divorce, and we will work hard in pursuit of the favorable outcome that you deserve.

Call 630-852-9700 Today

To learn more about our firm or to schedule a free consultation, contact our office. Call 630-852-9700 for an appointment at any of our three convenient locations. Our firm serves clients in Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Villa Park, Addison, La Grange, Western Springs, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Kane County, DuPage County, and the surrounding areas.

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