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Husband Not Allowed to Offer Seller’s Opinion of Business Value

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Tennessee case abstract on enterprise valuation proof in divorce.

Mitzi Sue Garner v. Robert Allen Garner

The spouse on this Hamilton County, Tennessee, sued for divorce in 2009 after being married in 1977.  The case went to trial in 2010.  The couple co-owned a fitness center that the husband operated, and the spouse labored at a veterinary clinic.  One of the primary points at trial was the worth of the fitness center.  In explicit, testament targeted on money transactions.  The husband’s earnings, for youngster assist functions, was set at $2400 per 30 days.  After numerous motions, this was upped to $4583 per 30 days.

The husband introduced an appeal, however the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal as a result of the judgment was not closing, since parenting time had not been finalized.  After numerous motions, the trial court docket lastly entered a closing order in 2019.  The husband was ordered to pay youngster assist of $241 per 30 days, and he filed one other appeal with the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

The husband’s argument on appeal was that the worth of the fitness center had not been accurately decided.  In explicit, the husband, who didn’t have an lawyer at trial, tried to supply the testament of Lawrence Day, the one who had bought him the fitness center.  This testament had been excluded as a result of there was no basis for his professional testament on the concern of worth.  Both the spouse and husband had been allowed to supply their opinion as to worth, since they have been house owners.  The husband argued that Mr. Day’s testament ought to have been allowed, since he held a mortgage on the property, and thus had some possession interest.

Unfortunately, the husband had not made a proposal of proof as to what the witness would have stated.  And the husband didn’t testify as to his private opinion of the worth.  For that cause, the appeals court docket affirmed the decrease court docket’s holding.

The appeals court docket did maintain that the husband ought to have been allowed extra latitude in cross examination as to the spouse’s valuation, particularly, her reliance upon a tax appraisal.  But it discovered that this didn’t rise to the extent of reversible error.

After reviewing the opposite points within the case, the Court of Appeals affirmed and remanded the case for assortment of prices.  It assessed the prices of appeal in opposition to the husband.

No. E2019-01420-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. July 29,  2020).

See authentic opinion for actual language.  Legal citations omitted.

To study extra, see Business Valuation in Tennessee Divorce.

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