Residents of California may be interested in learning how physicians going through a divorce deal with their practices. The medical practice is a financial asset, and its value should be considered by a family law attorney.
Some questions to ask
When physicians retain legal counsel, their lawyers should ask about:
• The kind of entity of the group practice
• When the practice was established
• How the practice was funded
• Whether stock was issued
• The existence of a buy/sell agreement
Any factors that involve the value of the practice should be considered. A professional accountant can help address the value by examining accounts receivable, financial assets, office equipment and more.
It is fraud to misrepresent income
A physician who is divorcing will need to notify his or her partners regarding this upcoming event. In some cases, legal proceedings might become a problem for the partners as well. Know that any misrepresentation of financial matters during a divorce can be considered as fraud.
Something to remember is that someone who is not a physician cannot take over a part of a medical practice in a divorce settlement and become one of the owners.
Liabilities should also be assessed
An attorney versed in family law, as well as a forensic accountant, will also want to consider the liabilities of the practice, insurance costs and any contributions the practice makes towards retirement plans. Loans are also a factor to be considered.
Battle of expertise
It might come down to a battle of the lawyers if one spouse sees the value of the practice one way while the other person has a very different picture. Evaluating a medical practice during a divorce may have far-reaching effects. An experienced family law attorney may challenge the opposing financial expert, and he or she can be a valuable ally for a physician who owns a medical practice and is divorcing.
Divorce is a difficult time, and an experienced law firm may provide you with personal service, experience and compassion.