California uses community property rules when dividing property in a divorce. A community asset is typically defined as anything acquired after your marriage became official. For example, community assets may include a home, a car or money in a bank account. It’s also possible that your medical practice might be considered a joint asset subject to state property divorce laws.
A buy/sell agreement may save your practice
A buy/sell agreement may be helpful for multiple reasons. First, it allows you to liquidate your share of medical practice before divorce proceedings start. This means that even if your spouse is entitled to a share of proceeds generated from the sale, you may still have a chance to buy back into the practice later. In addition, the agreement itself may provide an objective way to determine how much your stake is worth for purposes of negotiating a divorce settlement.
The practice may be placed in a trust
Placing your medical practice in a trust may keep it outside of the marital estate. Therefore, you may not need to consider it when crafting a divorce settlement. However, you will likely need to create trust before beginning divorce proceedings for the confidence to be considered valid. Otherwise, it may be seen as an effort to hide or obscure an asset to which your spouse might have a valid claim.
Your spouse may be an effective owner
If your spouse is a medical professional, there is a chance that you could run it with that individual after the divorce. But, of course, this also assumes that you can put your personal feelings aside for the sake of your career.
Medical practice may be one of the most valuable assets that you own. In addition to the revenue it generates, keeping it in your name may make it easier to accomplish your current or future career goals.