Am I entitled to any of my ex husband's medical practice? 35 Answers as of June 26, 2013

My husband joined a medical practice with 1 other physician several months prior to our marriage. However, he paid thousands and thousands of dollars into the practice to become a full partner after we were married. Am I entitled to any amount of his medical practice or partnership? We have been married 18 years

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Willick Law Group
Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
Short version, yes. If accrued (asset or its value) during the marriage, it is an asset divisible upon divorce.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/16/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
You are not entitled to ownership of a medical practice. However, you may be entitled to a portion of its value as a marital asset if the asset was acquired or maintained with marital funds.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 11/16/2011
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
If your husband used marital assets to pay for the improvement of the medical practice, you might be entitled to an interest in that practice. I would certainly retain an attorney to help you with this in Court.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/15/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Excellent question and the answer depends on a couple factors. When he "joined" the practice prior to marriage, did he incorporate? Can we show he paid for it after the fact? Did he sign contracts/agreements and then take the practice at the same time (prior to marriage) or did he do any of these things after the marriage? Inception of title would be his best defense, reimbursement would be your best argument in return. Not that the legal ramifications of either of those arguments matters to you at this time, the answer to your question lies in the details you did not provide and this would not be an appropriate forum to discuss them. If you have a lawyer, discuss the options with him or her.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/15/2011
Buselmeier Law & Associates, PA
Buselmeier Law & Associates, PA | Theodore W. Buselmeier
Yes. It is likely that much of the practice value is martial property and therefore subject to property division. The valuation of a business is very complex and we would likely hire a valuation expert to assist us in determining value. You would be compensated for your martial portion of the value. It is a much more complex analysis than I can explain in this format.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 11/15/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    His medical practice was built during the marriage, so your husband's ownership share value will be considered marital property. You are entitled to a fair share of the marital property, but how that share is awarded involves more information and understanding of the overall financial picture. Valuation of a professional practice is a complex and difficult process so you need to retain an attorney to represent you in a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C.
    Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C. | Richard A. Gray
    Yes, in Virginia a medical practice is a marital asset and subject to division just as any other asset. His interest in the medical practice will have to be determined and valued. The cost of hiring an expert to value his share of the practice can run anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 or more.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    I believe you may be entitled to half of the value of his share if he bought in after marriage. This may not be practical and may be better converted into alimony. I suggest you consult with an experienced Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    Yes, most likely 50% in Wisconsin. A valuation would have to be done to determine the value of the practice.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Probably yes, and you should immediately seek legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    The most significant issue to address is your need to hire a skilled family law attorney to properly assess the totality of your community property rights. If the medical practice was enhanced during the marriage by earnings and your husbands work and effort, then you may be entitled to a community interest in the portion of the partnership value held by your husband.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Yes, you have an interest. You need to consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
    If the practice was started prior to marriage, it will probably be considered his sole separate property.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/15/2011
    Goddard Wetherall Wonder, PSC
    Goddard Wetherall Wonder, PSC | Brook Goddard
    You may very well have a community property interest in the medical practice, given that community funds were used to "buy in" to the practice. Property characterization issues (i.e. between separate and community property) can be complicated and require greater fact gathering and analysis than the information you've provided thus far.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar | Mandy J. McKellar
    Yes you do and will have a community interest in the medical practice. This is something that usually requires and expert to complete a valuation of the business.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
    With respect to distribution of business interests and enhanced earning capacity, as of late, the courts have focused on the degree to which the non-titled spouses efforts contributed toward the acquisition of each specific asset. In the past, the non-titled spouses contributions to the other partys business, career or degree, usually resulted in equal distribution of those assets. However, the recent trend in court decisions has been to grant the non-titled spouse less than one half of the asset. The courts have described their reasoning as follows: [a]lthough in a marriage of long duration, where both parties have made significant contributions to the marriage, a division of marital assets should be made as equal as possible.There is no requirement that the distribution of each item of marital property be made on an equal basis.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Hemmat
    Law Offices of Steven A. Hemmat | Steven A. Hemmat
    You may well be entitled to an equitable share of your husband's medical practice. Typically, the medical practice would be evaluated by an expert. In addition, depending upon your financial circumstances you may be entitled to maintenance (alimony) as well.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Yes. The value of his interest in the medical practice is probably going to be divided equally if you have an attorney to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Law Office of Andrew E. Teitelman, PC | Andrew E. Teitelman
    You most certainly are. The practice's value increased during your marriage. You are entitled to a portion of your husband's share. It would be best to consult an attorney regarding these issues.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    The precise facts of the joining of the practice and the payment of funds is critical to the answer to your question. You might be so entitled.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Mary Ann Aiello PC
    Mary Ann Aiello PC | Rebecca Szewczuk
    The answer to your question is that you probably are entitled to something from your husband's practice. The law is clear that professional practices, established during marriage and prior to the commencement of a matrimonial action or execution of a separation agreement are marital property, subject to equitable distribution. Even where the practice was commenced prior to marriage, the appreciation in the value of the practice, where there have been contributions by the non-professional spouse, is marital property subject to equitable distribution. Contributions can be both direct and in-direct contributions. In-direct contributions usually include helping raise the children, attending social functions, being emotionally supportive. Direct contributions are if you gave your husband money toward the business or if you helped out as a secretary or bookkeeper. Courts will generally look at the in-direct and direct contributions and determine what percentage the non-titled spouse is entitled to. In addition, the business would need to be evaluated to determine the appreciation in the value of the practice. You should speak to your attorney about this issue and if you do not have an attorney, I would certainly recommend speaking with one promptly.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    Under Washington state community property law, you have a community interest in the medical practice. You should consult with a family law specialist in the county win which you reside.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Law Office of Ben Lieberman | Ben Lieberman
    Yes. The increase in value of the partnership during the marriage is a martial asset, which is subject to "equitable distribution" in Utah. Martial assets are typically divided equally unless there is a very compelling reason not to divide them equally - something exceptional. Frequently with a professional practice, it will be valued by an appraiser, and the owner of the practice will be required to pay the spouse 50% of the value of the practice.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
    Normally, assets acquired during a marriage belong to the "community" and those assets need to be divided in the dissolution. The determination of the community's interest in professional practice, such as a medical or law practice, after a long-term marriage can be a very complicated process, including the valuation of the practiceoften done by accountants with expertise in this area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    Based on the facts you have declared, the COMMUNITY has in fact obtained an economic interest in the medical practice. In fact it appears that MOST of the value is COMMUNITY PROPERTY. We can form a specific legal opinion once the partnership agreement is reviewed, and the evidence to support the financial contributions during the marriage. When you are dealing with fragile economic issues, competent legal representation should always be sought, as the subject matter of the litigation is so very important.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Law Office of Neil M. Kerstein
    Law Office of Neil M. Kerstein | Neil M. Kerstein
    Your husband's interest in his medical practice is an asset of the marriage and you are entitled to an interest if you choose to file for divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Talk to an experienced divorce attorney and get some advice. Yes. You should be entitled to a portion of the value of his medical practice in equitable distribution.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    The first question to answer is when he got his medical license. If it was during the marriage you are entitled to an equitable share in his enhanced earnings capacity as an MD, regardless of his interest in any specific practice group. As to the group itself if he is a partner and acquired the partnership during the marriage it is marital property, subject to equitable division. You should discuss your situation in detail with a local attorney. The cost of the consultation will be far less than the cost of making a mistake trying to resolve these issues yourself.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You ask a very important question and it needs thorough analysis. There is an issue of separate and community characerization. This is well worth exploring with an attorney and cannot be adequately answered in this method. In any case, all community and separate property is before the court for division. There are lots of reasons why you want property to be characterized as community and there are plenty of reasons some or all of the practice, including its good will, may be community. See an attorney now.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    The statute says that the court is to make a fair and equitable division of all of the property. There are a number of factors that the court is supposed to consider in reaching that division. If the court is going to divide the property, it first has to classify it. All of the property is going to be classified as your separate property, his separate property, or community property. Which of these classifications a particular piece of property falls into will depend on how and when the property was obtained. In most cases, property obtained during the marriage will be community property. Once the property is classified, how it gets divided will depend on a number of factors. Some of the factors that the court may consider are: the duration of the marriage, the ages of the parties, the health of the parties, the educational background of the parties, the employment history of the parties, and each party's future prospects. The court then has to come up with what the court believes is a fair and equitable division of all of the property using these and other factors. Now, if there is enough community property so that the court can come up with a fair division using just the community property, the court will generally do that. However, if there is not enough community property for the court to reach what it believes is a fair division, then, it can invade separate property. Now, it may turn out that you have some sort of lien or ownership interest in the medical practice. However, without a lot more information, it is impossible for me to say what that interest might be. If you do have an interest in the practice, then, he is likely to have to buy out your interest
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Law Offices of Marshall R. Hoekel, LLC | Marshall Hoekel
    That depends the structure of the business. In some cases you could own part of the business. Courts prefer that you merely take the value of your proportionate share of the business which allows everyone to go their own way.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Attorney Paul Lancia
    Attorney Paul Lancia | Paul Lancia
    Yes. You need to protect your legal rights.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    From the limited facts in your question, the answer is: yes, sounds like there is a community interest in the medical practice. It would be wise to set up an appointment with a local family law lawyer to discuss your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/14/2011
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