VALPF: What is your degree REALLY worth?

June 28, 2011


In this economy, you might conclude your professional degree isn’t worth much.

But your family court judge may disagree:

“The largest and most hotly contested issue in a matrimonial action is many times the determination of the value of the closely held business or professional practice, and, in a number of states, the valuation of such controversial intangibles as advanced educational degrees, professional licenses, careers, professional goodwill or career-related attainments that afford the holder enhanced earnings potential.”

John Johnson, Valuation Issues, in Basic Matrimonial Law and Practice, 270 PLI/Est 365, 371 (1998).

Different states have very different approaches.

How does your state view the treatment of a degree or professional practice as a marital asset?

A good place to check is the Valuing Professional Practices and Licenses: A Guide for the Matrimonial Practitioner database (VALPF), released earlier this month on Westlaw.

VALPF contains the full text of Valuing Professional Practices and Licenses: A Guide for the Matrimonial Practitioner, an exhaustive resource used nationwide as the essential practice guide in this area of matrimonial law.

Authored by more than 60 lawyers, accountants, and other valuation professionals, this guide covers all aspects of the valuation of professional practices, degrees, and licenses, including such topics as the valuation of a medical or law practice, merger and double counting, and celebrity goodwill (an issue in Piscopo v. Piscopo, 555 A.2d 1190 (N.J. 1988), which cites this guide as authority).

Also included is an appendix of IRS valuation ratings, which have been used to value the goodwill of professional practices.

Sections typically contain links to the full text of cited authorities.

The Table of Contents service is available.