Business valuation arises in divorce cases where one or both spouses have an ownership interest in a closely held corporation - that is, a corporation which has a limited number of shareholders. This ownership interest is usually considered a marital asset, just like real property or a bank account, and is thus subject to equitable division in a divorce. Valuing a spouse's interest in this type of business can be a complex process due to the fact that there is no market on which a spouse could readily liquidate his or her shares. Accordingly, in many cases, the divorcing parties will retain a business valuator to determine the value of the spouse's ownership interest in the company.
In divorces, determining the value of real property (the marital home, for example) may become a key issue. While a seemingly simple concept, the term "value" may have several different meanings depending upon the context in which its used in litigation, and understanding the various methods of determining the "value" of real property is crucial.