Who Has the Burden of Proving the Premarital Value of a Business?

We often deal with cases in which one or both spouses own a business.  In many of those cases, a spouse received their interest in a business prior to the marriage, either from a family member, or otherwise.  With regard to premarital assets and/or any other assets that a party claims is exempt, that party must prove that the asset is truly exempt.  The inquiry doesn’t end there.  If the asset is an active asset, like a business, the other party may share in the increase in value of the business during the marriage.  Typically, the non-titled spouse will share in the increase in value if they can show that they contributed to the increase by make financial or non-financial contributions. An interesting question that is not often discussed is who bears the burden of establishing what the premarital value actually was.  That question was recently addressed in Fox v. Fox, an unreported (non-precedential) Appellate Division decision released on…

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