Divorce can be challenging when you own a medical practice in New Jersey. You might wonder what could happen to the practice in the divorce settlement.
Is a medical practice considered a marital asset?
As a doctor with your own medical practice, it’s important to establish whether the practice is a marital asset. If you founded the practice prior to your marriage, it’s not considered a marital asset, which means your spouse would not get a share of it.
If the practice started after your marriage and your spouse financially supported you, they might be entitled to a share. However, unless they, too, are a doctor who has a stake in the practice or they co-founded it, that doesn’t mean they would get a portion of the practice itself. Instead, they would receive a portion of its value as part of the divorce settlement.
Getting the practice properly valued is important if your spouse is due a portion of the value in your divorce. An appraiser can determine the value of the practice so that a fair settlement amount can be given.
How can you protect your medical practice?
The best way to protect your medical practice in the event of a divorce is to have a prenuptial agreement before the marriage takes place. Unfortunately, this is not an option if you married without having a prenup in place.
At the same time, it’s possible to protect your medical practice even if you started it after you got married and your spouse helped you financially. A postnuptial agreement is probably the best way to do that. It can outline what your spouse is due if you choose to get a divorce in the future. You can also ensure that your medical practice is not included in the division of assets and property, which can help you retain all the value of the practice.
Getting a divorce as a doctor doesn’t mean you’ll lose your practice. Even if your spouse is entitled to a portion of it, the divorce doesn’t have to disrupt the practice.