How will the judge deal with a family business in a divorce

Asked over 1 year ago - Wayne, NJ

My husband owns a restaurant with his father and brother. We are in divorce and my husband submit only part of the financial information of this restaurant and refused to submit the entire financials of the restaurant stating that his father and brother wanted to protect their privacy. Do they have legal ground to stand on?

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Geraldene Sherr Duswalt

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It sounds like you may be entitled to all of the financial information, it depends upon many factors. The business may need to be valued in which case all of the financials will need to be provided. The best thing to do would be to have your lawyer make a motion to compel discovery. Any sensitive information can be redacted, such as social security numbers, or the Judge can order the information to be viewed in Chambers first for him or her to see if anything is sensitive in nautre.

    Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this answer is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should... more
  2. Thomas S. Durst

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A full examination of the business is necessary. You will need a judge to order complete disclosure and you might need to retain a forensic accountant.

    This post is not legal advice and does not create a confidential attorney-client relationship. It is being... more
  3. Yolanda Navarrete

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You attorney will file motions on your behalf. A judge will decide what is privileged.

    Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to... more
  4. Stephen Ross Cohen

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to get an attorney to fight for this information and the judge will determine what has to be provded

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and I have practiced over 38 years and can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practiced... more
  5. Brad Michael Micklin

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with the answers below. However, I do not recommend having the court inspect them in privacy. That will not benefit you if you're not able to obtain the information. I would make a motion to compel discovery and, in the alternative, request the court draw negative inferences if they fail to provide the information. There's a court rule that provides for such a finding. That way you get the information or the inferences can be used to positively affect the valuation in your case.

    If you want to speak with an experienced attorney who is familiar with these areas of law, call us at 973-562-0100. Our firm is concentrated in family law and estate planning case. Also below is a link to our blog if you want to keep up on legal developments in divorce, family law and estate planning laws.

    Good luck.
    Brad M. Micklin, Esq.
    The Micklin Law Group
    187 Washington Ave., Suite 2F
    Nutley, NJ 07110
    973-562-0100
    Brad@Micklinlawgroup.com
    www.micklinlawgroup.com

    This information is based upon the limited facts you presented. My advice Is based on New Jersey law and may be... more
  6. David F Salvaggio

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I hope that you are being represented by a good New Jersey Divorce Law Firm, which has had a lot of experience in handling divorce cases involving a business, because those issues can be very complex.

    I have over 30 years of legal experience and head a Morristown law firm which devotes its entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters. That's all we do.

    The short answer to your question is that your husband needs to provide FULL disclosure. It is not uncommon for one spouse to own a business with to other members of his/her family. Their privacy can be insured by what is called a "Protective Order," which places appropriate limits on the disclosure and use of the financial information.

    By all means, insist that your lawyer address this issue with your husband's attorney and, if an agreement cannot be reached, ask that your lawyer make a formal Motion to the Court.

    This Answer includes a link to my Firm's Website. Please feel free to contact me if you want to talk to me about this issue.

    DISCLAIMER The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should... more
  7. Carrie Susan Schultz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 4

    Answered . I agree with all the answers above. You are entitled to full disclosure and if your husband is playing games, you have recourse by asking the court to order him to turn over the information. I would suspect that even once you get this info, you will need a forensic accountant to discuss those documents and value the business and your husbands cash flow from those businesses. You need to consult with an experienced family law attorney that is well versed in complex divorce matters, such as myself.

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