Cutsinger v. Cutsinger, 917 S.W.2nd 238 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995).
Mr. Cutsinger owned a chiropractic observe as a sole proprietorship. He started the observe two years earlier than he married. Days after the wedding, Mrs. Cutsinger started working on the observe as a licensed nurse. Mr. Cutsinger later grew to become critically in poor health with pores and skin most cancers and was pressured to go away his observe for a yr. Throughout Mr. Cutsinger’s absence, Mrs. Cutsinger stored the enterprise open by doing bookkeeping and acquiring different chiropractors to serve the observe’s purchasers. About two years after Mr. Cutsinger grew to become in poor health, the events separated, and Mr. Cutsinger bought the observe for $130,000. The acquisition worth mirrored $62,000 for gear, $13,000 for the commerce identify and goodwill, $13,000 for a covenant to not compete, $18,000 for accounts receivable, and a $24,000 session payment. When the events divorced, the trial court docket divided the worth of the observe as marital property, however excluded from this worth the quantities paid for the commerce identify and goodwill and the covenant to not compete. The trial court docket held that the worth of the observe was $104,000 and awarded Mrs. Cutsinger a 30% curiosity within the buy worth of the chiropractic observe. The $31,200 award included the worth of the appreciation of the observe. Mr. Cutsinger appealed the trial court docket’s choice to divide the observe as marital property and argued that Mrs. Cutsinger introduced no proof that the worth of the observe appreciated through the marriage.
The Tennessee Courtroom of Appeals agreed with Mr. Cutsinger and held that the appreciation worth of the chiropractic observe was Mr. Cutsinger’s separate property. Though Mrs. Cutsinger efficiently proved that she made a priceless contribution to the observe, she did not current proof that detailed the worth of the enterprise previous to the wedding. Mrs. Cutsinger’s testimony that the observe elevated from round 5 sufferers per day in the beginning of the wedding to round forty per day on the finish of the wedding was not enough to show a rise within the worth of the observe. The court docket discovered that it couldn’t be “conclusively inferred” that the enterprise appreciated in worth simply because it serviced extra purchasers. The enchantment, although, was not a whole loss for Mrs. Cutsinger. The court docket held that 47.73% of the observe’s $62,000 value of apparatus was marital property as a result of it was bought collectively by Mr. and Mrs. Cutsinger through the marriage. Whereas Mrs. Cutsinger didn’t obtain any of the appreciation worth of the observe, she was finally awarded half of the worth of the gear bought through the marriage, which totaled $15,106.30.
This publish is a part of a collection, Appreciation of Separate Property: The Forensic Accountant’s Full Employment Act.
To study extra, go to When Professionals Divorce in Tennessee: Valuing Professional Practices.