The family law attorneys at Schmidt McElwee & Gordon, PLLC provide the following answers to frequently asked questions for the benefit of individuals in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, and neighboring Arizona communities who are seeking information related to divorce, particularly with regard to community property, business valuations, spousal maintenance awards, and child related matters. If you have additional questions or need advice and representation in your Arizona divorce, please contact Schmidt McElwee & Gordon, PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

How does goodwill affect the valuation of a business in the community property settlement?

In addition to the tangible assets of the business, there are many intangible aspects of a business that must also be evaluated, notably goodwill. Goodwill is an intangible asset combining factors such as the company’s reputation in the industry or with the public, the value of its brand or trademark, its relationships with its customers, and similar other factors. If a business were to be sold, the value of business goodwill would be an important factor in the sale price. The goodwill in a business may be reflected in the sale price as the amount over the business’ book value a buyer is willing to pay. Therefore, goodwill is a strong component of business value.

In many cases, the goodwill of a business is closely tied up with the business owner or other individual who represents the face of the company. If the business, once sold, would no longer include that individual, then the value of the goodwill could be adversely affected. Therefore, when a company’s goodwill is based upon one of the divorcing spouses as the face of the company, the business valuation can be quite complicated.

What factors does the court consider in determining the amount and duration of a spousal maintenance award?

If the court determines that an award of spousal maintenance should be made, then according to Arizona Revised Statutes 25-319, the court considers “all relevant factors” as to amount and duration, including the following:

  1. The standard of living established during the marriage.
  2. The duration of the marriage.
  3. The age, employment history, earning ability and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance.
  4. The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet that spouse’s needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.
  5. The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities in the labor market.
  6. The contribution of the spouse seeking maintenance to the earning ability of the other spouse.
  7. The extent to which the spouse seeking maintenance has reduced that spouse’s income or career opportunities for the benefit of the other spouse.
  8. The ability of both parties after the dissolution to contribute to the future educational costs of their mutual children.
  9. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to that spouse, and that spouse’s ability to meet that spouse’s own needs independently.
  10. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment and whether such education or training is readily available.
  11. Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.
  12. The cost for the spouse who is seeking maintenance to obtain health insurance and the reduction in the cost of health insurance for the spouse from whom maintenance is sought if the spouse from whom maintenance is sought is able to convert family health insurance to employee health insurance after the marriage is dissolved.
  13. All actual damages and judgments from conduct that results in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or child was the victim.

Can a custodial parent relocate out-of-state without the other parent’s permission?

If parents have unsupervised parenting time, neither parent can relocate, with the child, out-of-state or more than one hundred miles inside the state, without first giving sixty days advance notice to the other parent. After notice, the other parent has the opportunity to request a court hearing to prevent the relocation. The parent wishing to move has the burden to prove that the move would be in the best interests of the child, based upon a host of statutory factors and other relevant circumstances.