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pottery as a business in the eyes of a court

updated mon 25 nov 02


Bobbruch1@AOL.COM on sun 24 nov 02

While I am no expert (attorney?) in these matters .... I just went through a
4 year divorce, so I have some experience in the area. Divorce law varies
widely from state to state - and judge to judge. These courts are run a
little differently from the one you described. When it comes to valuing a
business, it isn't just a matter of throwing out numbers. In divorce
proceedings, one usually can't get away with saying, "I want $XXXX because I
want it." If a spouse says they want $XXXX for "the pottery of Ms. ABC," then
they have to DEMONSTRATE that it is worth that amount. That demonstration
comes from sales data and tax returns. This is no different from the way the
IRS makes a valuation when it reviews a business for an estate tax return. If
you have had no sales, then 50% of zero is zero. This is an
oversimplification, and it is only an opinion, but I think that a competent
attorney should be able to put an end to that at some point in the process.
While that argument could work against you on the asset side, I don't see any
reason that you couldn't get a court to believe that you have a business that
isn't worth much since you are just getting it started, especially since that
seems to be the truth.

Also, you have a powerful weapon working on your behalf. Just from reading
what you wrote about the offers, etc., the other side sounds like it is VERY
concerned about the abuse charges, as well they should be. If you can prove
to a court that you were battered, that is something that nobody would want
on their record. My ex was an art therapist in a battered woman's shelter, so
my view of this process is somewhat from a distance. It does seem as though
prosecutors and police have learned to take these issues seriously, based on
the disastrous situations that have occurred before they started taking them
seriously. I am somewhat surprised that any attorney and especially a female
attorney wouldn't take such a hearing more seriously. This is just a guess
and not based on any knowledge, but I would assume that a divorce attorney is
(should be) a specialty, and that the average divorce attorney may not be the
right (best?) person to represent you in this other matter. If $$$$ is an
issue, call the local abused woman's hotline and get a referral. Some very
good attorneys will sometimes handle cases in this area on a pro bono (free)

<<<<<<divorce???? His half of the $14,400.00 that he says my business interest,
"Pottery by Cher Hoffman" is worth! This is separate from equipment,
supplies, stock on hand...add another $12,000.00 for that! Now remember that
I've just started producing a salable product and he broke the crates
containing my best, salable pieces, disconnected my kiln, flooded my studio,
stole my digital camera, and on and on.
I do have a tax number, applied for in Sept. of this year, but have
not had any reportable sales yet. I have made up business cards on the
computer, taken digital pictures of my work, but never applied for a business
license nor opened a business acct. Hope that saves my butt, as the
$26,400.00 will just about cover my half of the house equity...convenient
amount he arrived at, huh?

Inheritance in most states is not part of marital property, and you need to
find out how that works in your area. This is probably a scare tactic, and,
it seems to be working. The person who went with you to your hearing sounds
she they gave you some ++++ advice. That same advice would probably be
helpful on the matters pertaining to your divorce proceedings as well.

Bob Bruch

< <<<listed as my asset because it goes to me when she passes. And he wants my 14
year old dog that he has nothing to do with!