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Cases of Interest: Closely Held Businesses
National Legal Research Group, Inc.

CALIFORNIA: In re Marriage of Stevenson, ___ Cal. App. 4th ___, 24 Cal. Rptr. 2d 411 (1993).
The husband and wife separated in May 1990. The husband filed for dissolution in September 1990. He operated two small businesses. One was a general contracting business and the other was a Christmas tree lot operation.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Antuna, 8 P.3d 589 (Colo. Ct. App. 2000).
The husband was not prejudiced by the late receipt of the report of the wife's valuation expert concerning her interest in her medical practice.
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FLORIDA: Johnson v. Johnson, 725 So. 2d 1029 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1999).
Debts owed by the husband's nonmarital businesses were nonmarital even though they were personally guaranteed by him during the marriage.
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FLORIDA: Robbie v. Robbie, 654 So. 2d 616 (Fla. DCA 1995).
The appreciation of the husband's interest in a closely held family corporation was marital property even though he was not the key decisionmaker, where he was employed full-time as the general manager and contributed by carrying out the decisions made by others.
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ILLINOIS: Blackstone v. Blackstone, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 681 N.E.2d 72 (1997).
Remand was required for valuation of the parties' interest in three closely held corporations, where the wife did not present any expert testimony on their value and the trial court rejected the testimony of the husband's expert.
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INDIANA: Kelsey v. Kelsey, 714 N.E.2d 187 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999).
A trial court issued a marital dissolution decree requiring the husband to transfer to the wife his general partner interest. The court erred because it lacked jurisdiction over the limited partnership and other general and limited partners.
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MISSISSIPPI: Waring v. Waring, 722 So. 2d 723 (Miss. Ct. App. 1998).
The wife was entitled to equitable distribution of the part of the increase in value during the marriage of the husband's business holdings that was fairly attributable to the active efforts of either of the parties during the marriage.
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MONTANA: Harper v. Harper, ___ Mont. ___, 994 P.2d 1 (1999).
The wife was not entitled to stock shares in a closely held family corporation that had been gifted to the husband by his parents.
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MONTANA: In re Marriage of DeCosse, ___ Mont. ___, 936 P.2d 821 (1997).
The valuation of stock set forth in a shareholder's agreement is presumptively the real value of a shareholder's interest in a closely held corporation if the shareholders have employed an acceptable method of valuation and there is no evidence that the valuation was undertaken in bad faith or for the purpose of avoiding marital or debtor/creditor responsibilities.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Offerman v. Offerman, ___ N.C. App. ___, 527 S.E.2d 684 (2000).
The equitable distribution action regarding the couple's closely held corporation arose before the 1997 amendments to the Equitable Distribution Act, and, thus, the court had to identify the property of the couple, determine the value of the property on the date of the separation, and distribute the property.
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NORTH DAKOTA: Kaiser v. Kaiser, 555 N.W.2d 585 (N.D. 1996).
The value of the wife's interest in a closely held corporation did not have to be determined with a minority discount of more than 11.3%.
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NORTH DAKOTA: Fisher v. Fisher, 568 N.W.2d 728 (N.D. 1997).
The trial court did not err in refusing to apply a minority discount to shares of stock assigned to the wife in the parties' property division.
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OREGON: In re Marriage of Batt, 149 Or. App. 517, 945 P.2d 517 (1997).
A marketability discount should not have been applied to the value of the husband's interest in a family farming operation.
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TEXAS: Collins v. Collins, 904 S.W.2d 792 (Tex. Ct. App. 1995).
The husband should not have been permitted to testify as to the value of his business, where he was not listed as an expert witness and had denied during depositions that he would be rendering valuation testimony.
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VIRGINIA: Rowe v. Rowe, 24 Va. App. 123, 480 S.E.2d 760 (1997).
When classifying the increase in value of the husband's premarital stock in a family newspaper business, the trial court should consider the impact of passive economic factors and the efforts of the husband's brother as well as the extent to which the marital estate had already been adequately compensated for the husband's efforts.
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VIRGINIA: Gottlieb v. Gottlieb, ___ Va. App. ___, 448 S.E.2d 666 (1994).
Evidence supported the trial court's finding that the husband's business interests were transmuted to marital property by the wife's monetary and nonmonetary contributions during the marriage.
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WEST VIRGINIA: Smith v. Smith, ___ W. Va. ___, 475 S.E.2d 881 (1996).
A spouse's participation as an officer or director of a corporation together with significant stock ownership by a spouse constitutes sufficient participation to qualify as active appreciation, and when coupled with full-time work activity by the spouse for the corporation, some portion of the increase in value of the business must be classified as marital property.
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