Divorce & Goodwill: what are your marital rights to the “asset” called goodwill?

DIVORCE & GOODWILL

As a general rule, it’s looking to me like you can’t really claim “goodwill” as a marital asset most of the time. Certainly not as to your spouse’s personal reputation. Potentially you could claim the goodwill of a company as an asset, but it’s really murky because a lot of times, goodwill of a business is based on the goodwill of the person’s reputation and you can’t claim that as an marital asset. That would be like saying, post-divorce, you own a piece of your husband (or wife’s) posterior, or their face, or something personal to them. Which is crazy. How can anyone possibly think they have a right to someone’s physical self after a divorce? That is slavery times ten. It’s just crazy.

But many divorce cases involve this issue – especially in cases involving celebrities, and high profile people like highly successful lawyers, plastic surgeons and things like that. And it is a point of contention so that means the law is not as clear as it needs to be to say, whether this is an asset or if it is not an asset. I am leaning to it not being an asset. Any lawyers out there with high profile clients want to disagree? Would love to hear what you think about this goodwill situation. I really don’t quite understand it myself.

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