In re Marriage of Cream involved the division of a unique business
During the marriage, the parties purchased a unique business. It was a privately owned geyser. At the time of divorce, each spouse wanted to keep and run the business. Each spouse’s expert valued the business at $800,000.
The family law judge found that each spouse was capable of maintaining the business. However, the trial court believed it had a duty to maximize the assets of the community. The court ordered a private auction between the parties to determine how to award the business. The spouse with the higher offer would be awarded the business. The wife filed an appeal stating that it was the court’s duty to determine the value of the business and award it to either spouse.
The appellate court agreed with the wife. It stated that a judicial officer must perform judicial functions. One of the functions of the judicial officer is to value and divide community property. The court lacked jurisdiction to order the parties to participate in a private auction. The appellate court did note, however, that even though the family court could not order a private auction, the parties were free to agree to alternative methods of valuation and distribution of assets in order to divide community property. It then listed ten alternatives for the valuation and award of community property.
If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a dissolution issue such as the valuation of a business or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, custody, child support, spousal support, or property division, please consider Treviño Law in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.
Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not address other factors which may play a significant role in a particular dissolution. Circumstances in your divorce may alter the results in your dissolution.
Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc.