Defendant-husband moved to deny plaintiff-wife any distributive award based on the value of his medical practices.  The wife’s expert had used an income approach to value the business which considered the income generated by the businesses over a period of time and capitalizes that income.  Husband contended that a distributive award would be impermissible double counting of his income because his stipulated support obligation was also based upon his full 2010 income of $1.0 million.  The Supreme Court thereafter denied the wife’s motion citing husband’s argument of impermissible double counting of the income stream.

The Appellate Court reversed for the wife, holding that “distributing a party’s business and awarding maintenance based upon the income earned from that business does not constitute impermissible double counting because a business is a tangible, income-producing asset . . . rather than an intangible asset such as a professional license, [where] the value of which can only be determined based on projected earnings.”  Here, the husband’s medical practices employed other doctors and are not “totally indistinguishable” from the income stream upon which his maintenance obligation is based.