Divorce can truly be a life-changing event, even when it comes to owning a dental practice. While no one plans on ending a marriage, it’s important to take precautions upfront in order to ensure your assets are secure. Here are some steps to follow before, during, and after.
Get an appraisal
Knowing the true value of your practice will help avoid a situation in which a spouse will try to inflate the value and the dentist will try to deflate. Neither strategy is correct, which is why it is important to have an independent valuation completed.
Detailing the ownership structure within the practice won’t leave any questions to chance. From there, under the ownership structure, define whether they fall under the real estate or asset category. Along the same lines, outline and understand all debt load, from personal to business debt.
Thinking through details, such as a spouse’s benefits, ahead of time will help ensure a clean break in the long run. Is your spouse an employee of the practice, or do they have retirement or other benefits from the practice? Likewise, are you able to keep the practice, or is a practice sale required?
Organize your documents
Inside and outside your dental practice, you’ll need to get all important documents organized, including but not limited to judgment for divorce, permanent parenting plan, insurance policies, deeds, marriage license, updating beneficiaries of your life insurance and retirement accounts, updating your will, and updating your medical directives.
Manage your time
Evenings and weekends are ideal to gather data to curtail as much of your professional time as possible. However, that isn’t reasonable for everyone, so determine how much professional time you will need to cut back on during the divorce proceedings and have a plan in place to ensure production remains steady.
Above all, it’s no secret that a divorce can get messy outside the dental practice, so you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t trickle into your business affairs. Maintain integrity and character throughout as to not affect the goodwill of your practice.
Contact the experts at Professional Transition Strategies to help make sense of what steps to take now.