In the typical divorce mediation, Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. assists a married couple complete an equitable distribution of their marital assets and debts in a fair manner. Our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators also work with the parties to resolve child related issues and spousal support if supported by the facts of the case.
When both parties are employed in careers where they receive a W-2 at the end of the year, it can be expedient for Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. to determine the full extent of the issues that need to be resolved at mediation. On the other hand, what happens during the divorce process when one of the spouses has a professional practice such as a medical or legal office and the other spouse was a stay at home mom who was responsible for child-rearing during the marriage? Often in this factual scenario, the wife also fully supported the other’s career by working part-time while the husband attended medical or law school; and then helped the husband open and build his practice.
A question that is commonly asked is whether the wife is able to become a co-owner of the professional practice? Florida Bar members are prohibited from partnering or sharing legal fees with non-lawyers. However, Florida does allow a medical practice to be owned by a corporate entity, but there are very strict reporting requirements that can be cumbersome to complete. Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. recognizes the fact that if spouses can no longer live together as a married couple, then it is very unlikely that they can continue to work together in the same practice.
Even with these hurdles, mediation can be a very effective mechanism to resolve the issues involved with this type of a Florida dissolution of marriage case provided that the parties desire to reach a settlement without the expenses which would be required to fully litigate their case in front of a Florida Family Law Judge.
In the scenario being discussed, the wife has a strong case for alimony, but do her contributions to her husband’s medical or legal studies as well as helping the husband advance his career also entitle her to being compensated for some percentage of the professional practice?
The first things which need to be completed are to determine the total value of the professional practice and the percentage of the practice that the wife is entitled to. The parties can accomplish this by agreeing on one expert to assess the value of the practice. This not only is cost-efficient but it also removes the dissension that can take place when the parties fight over valuations. Once valuation is agreed upon, Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. can help the parties also determine how the husband can buy out the wife’s interest – either by lump sum or some type of a payment schedule.
At Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc., we work hard to make certain that we understand the full range of possible outcomes of your case if it is not settled in mediation in order that we can help guide you through your settlement discussions during the mediation. As long as you and/or your spouse are not consumed with anger over the reasons you are getting divorced, our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators can help you reach a settlement that both spouses can live with.

3 comments

  1. Reply

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