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Z&R Press

News / PublicationsPressCleveland Jewish News, February 2007
News / PublicationsPressCleveland Jewish News, February 2007

Press and Media

Cleveland Jewish News
International residence case moves to US Supreme Court
June 21, 2019

Hollywood Life
Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson’s Custody Case Could Get ‘Very Messy’: Lawyer Explains
February 27, 2019

2018 Ohio Super Lawyers
Cleveland family law attorney Andrew Zashin gets a 6th Circuit ruling that brings consistency to cases involving vulnerable children
November 8, 2018

Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Adjunct Professors Zashin, Keating and Reynolds take on path-breaking Hague Convention Case
June 21, 2018

2018 Ohio Super Lawyers
Family law attorney Andrew Zashin asks the 6th Circuit to bring consistency to cases involving vulnerable children
June 19, 2018

Cleveland Jewish News
Landmark international residence case could impact those making aliyah
June 14, 2018

WJR Detroit – Audio Interview
Attorney Andrew Zashin chats with Guy Gordon to discuss the new Illinois law for dogs when parents are getting a divorce.
January 2, 2018

Cleveland Jewish News
Surrogacy, child custody laws develop as cases arise
November 21, 2017

Smart Business Cleveland
2017 Smart Business Family Business Achievement Awards
September 2017

Crain's Cleveland Business
Ohio Employers Confront Marijuana Use
July 22, 2017

Lake View Cemetery Heritage ReView
Trustee Spotlight: Andrew Zashin
Spring 2017

Sports Illustrated
Lane Johnson's Bold Move To Sue His Own Union Is Rare, But Not Unprecedented
January 11, 2017

Law360
Packers Player Drops NFL Drug Suspension Dispute
December 19, 2016

Sports Business Daily
NFL, NFLPA Appoint Das As Third Arbitrator In Michael Pennel Lawsuit
December 5, 2016

Sports Business Journal
Eagles Lineman Challenges NFL and NFLPA in NLRB Filings
December 5, 2016

Law360
Eagles Lineman Says Suspension Violates Federal Labor Law
November 29, 2016

The Business of Sports with Andrew Brandt
RTAB #30: Lane Johnson's Legal Team (Audio Interview)
November 29, 2016

Cleveland Jewish News
Ohio Woman Receives Orthodox Divorce Decree
January 14, 2016

BNA's Health Law Reporter
Surprise! The NLRB Says You Just Might Be a 'Joint Employer'
September 24, 2015

BNA's Health Law Reporter
NLRB Adopts New Joint Employer Standard; Ruling Could Affect Health-Care Industry
September 3, 2015

BNA's Health Law Reporter
Challenge to NLRB Election Rule Fails; Employers Urged to Prepare New Game Plan
June 11, 2015

American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law
Member Spotlight: George S. Crisci
April 13, 2015

The Plain Dealer
Attorney Goes To Bat for Northeast Ohio
January 18, 2015

Cleveland Jewish News
Profile on Andrew Zashin
January 15, 2015

"Here and Now" National NPR Show - Audio Interview
In A Divorce, Who Gets To Keep The Dog?
December 4, 2014

Crain's - Article and Video
Zashin & Rich embraces Cleveland roots and rock 'n' roll heritage
November 16, 2014

BNA's Health Law Reporter
Justices Reject NLRB Recess Appointments; Significant Health Care Decisions in Limbo
July 10, 2014

BNA's Health Law Reporter
The EEOC and FTC Turn Up the Heat on Employer Background Checks
April 2014

Crain’s
Zashin & Rich move marks big milestone
for E&Y Tower
November 2013

Cleveland.com
Zashin & Rich law firm leases last full floor of Ernst & Young Tower at Flats East Bank project
November 2013

Associated Press
US Claims Father Illegally Moved Kids to Gaza
May 2012

2012 Ohio Super Lawyers
Mentors | Andrew Zashin: Reminiscing About Robert Zashin
January 2012

CCH Employment Law Daily
NLRB NEWS - Controversy Erupts Over NLRB Recess Appointments
January 2012

Huff Post
Divorce's Impact On Small Businesses Can Be 'Immense'
October 2011

The Today Show - Video
Accused Facebook bigamist heads to court
September 2010

MSNBC
Facebook Busts Accused Bigamist - Woman Finds Her Prince Charming Has Married Another
July 2010

WKYC - Article and Video
Cleveland woman discovers husband's 'other' wife via Facebook
July 2010

Cleveland Jewish News
New custody center in Israel is Zashin’s passion
January 1, 2010

Worth Magazine
Top 100 Attorneys 2007
Andrew Zashin

Inside Business Magazine
Connecting Through Separation
Profile on Andrew Zashin
December 2007

Cleveland Jewish News
Valuing and dividing assets at the time of divorce
By Andrew Zashin, Esq.
February 2007

Case School of Law: In Brief
Plugged into Family, the Law, and Cleveland
Alumni Spotlight on Andrew Zashin
Spring 2005

Cleveland Magazine
The Divorcing Woman’s Best Friend
Feature Article Profiling Andrew Zashin
November 2004

Crain’s
Companies should consider coverage against employee-related claims
By Stephen Zashin | July 2004

Crain’s
ADR programs can save dollars and time
By Stephen Zashin | November 2003

COSE Update: Legal Ease
One Size Does Not Fit All
(Employment Practices Liability Insurance)
By Stephen Zashin

COSE Update: Legal Ease
Noncompete Agreements
By Michele Jakubs

COSE Update: Legal Ease
Ohio's 'Baby COBRA' Law
By Helena Oroz

Cleveland Jewish News

Business Legal Matters – Valuing and dividing assets at the time of divorce

February 16, 2007 | By Andrew Zashin, Esq. |Download PDF of Article

Business Legal Matters – Valuing and dividing assets at the time of divorce

Divorcing one's spouse is, at minimum, an emotionally and financially expensive proposition. Aside from custody arrangements and support agreements, divorcing spouses also need to divide their property and any ownership interests they may have in business entities and partnerships.

Divorce cases become even more complicated when a family business is involved. Uninformed or poorly counseled clients may not obtain the results they deserve. Any divorcing spouse should seriously consider the following factors when considering his or her divorce property settlement.

The most important factor is to hire an attorney who has expertise in family law. Ohio courts have held that poor legal advice is not sufficient to relitigate or otherwise re-open a separation agreement after a divorce is final. A spouse may invest many years in a marriage but has only one opportunity to obtain a fair and equitable settlement.

Additionally, an experienced family law attorney has access to experts who can help determine the full scope and value of the marital assets. Generally speaking, a divorcing spouse should not rely solely on a family accountant or business adviser regarding the value of the marital assets, especially business interests. A family accountant or business adviser is often closely involved with either or both spouses and therefore may not be sufficiently independent to render an objective opinion. Also, the family accountant or business adviser's involvement is usually limited to minimizing taxes; he or she may not possess the necessary experience and/or credentials to accurately value marital business interests. Any portion of retirement benefits which accrues during a marriage is almost always considered marital property. As such, it is imperative that an accurate determination is made regarding the value of a spouse's retirement benefits so that the other spouse will receive his or her proper share.

Often, one spouse may have a stake in an established business prior to marriage. In such a case, the "non-owner" spouse may not have a marital interest in the business itself. However, this changes when the "owner spouse's" direct efforts during the marriage causes an increase in value of the business. In this scenario, the non-owner spouse may have a marital interest in the increased value due to these "direct efforts."

Even when the value of a business increases during a marriage, there are times when that appreciation can remain the non-marital, separate property of the business owner spouse. A trial court must determine whether the increase in value of a closely-held business during a marriage is "active" (i.e. due to the direct efforts of a spouse) or "passive" (i.e. due to efforts of other parties or market forces).

In the former situation, the nonowner spouse has a marital interest in the "active" increase in value, while in the latter instance, the nonowner spouse has no marital interest in the "passive" growth of the business assets.

Recently, a court found that in a closely-held business situation, the increase in value of the business largely resulted not from the efforts of the owner-spouse, but rather from the efforts of a management team. In that case, only the percentage of the increased value directly attributable to the owner-spouse is considered to be a marital asset.

Dividing the property interests of a divorcing couple is a complex endeavor. Too often, nuances and mutually beneficial opportunities are lost in an adversarial courtroom setting. A divorcing spouse may obtain more favorable results through a negotiated separation agreement than might be possible through full litigation in court. Therefore, it is imperative that a divorcing spouse has counsel with a track record of resolving complicated cases both outside of court and in ways that maximize value and that benefits the parties and their children.

Andrew A. Zashin is co-managing partner of Zashin & Rich Co., LPA, and is a certified family law specialist and an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Reach him at 216-696-4441 or aaz@zrlaw.com.