Family Court’s Discretion in Dividing Business

A spouse who claims a separate property interest in a business or practice must prove that the business or practice was acquired or commenced before marriage or from a separate property source during marriage.

A trial court has broad discretion in dividing a community property business. Except when a professional practice is involved, which must be awarded to the spouse holding the professional license (see [a], above), the court is often faced with the dilemma of whether to order a division in kind or to award the entire business to one spouse and comparable community property to the other spouse.

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