Triple Play: What happens to a company when a partner goes through a divorce?

Triple Play is a weekly NJBIZ feature that asks top executives in New Jersey to talk about three things related to their industry.

Richard H. Weiner is the managing shareholder of Hackensack-based law firm Aronsohn Weiner Salerno & Kaufman P.C.

We asked Richard to identify three effects on a company when a partner or shareholder goes through a divorce.

  1. Other partners and shareholders can be impacted when the company’s equity/value becomes an asset subject to distribution in the divorce. The value attributed to an individual’s equity interest by a forensic accountant/business appraiser for divorce purposes could be very different from the company’s “book value,” or from a value to a third-party purchaser in an outside sale.
  2. The obligation for a company to produce information about both the entire business entity and its fellow shareholders/partners is always an ongoing concern because, generally, whether it’s a minority or majority partner/shareholder involved in a divorce, the company will be obligated to produce relevant financial information.
  3. The company can challenge the scope of the request by divorce counsel for production of both company and fellow shareholder/partner information. The entity’s counsel can make application to the court to suppress all or parts of a subpoena that had been served on the company requesting this information and documentation, particularly if it is for potentially confidential or privileged information, or if the request is over-burdensome.