Considerations when Divorcing a Medical Doctor

By | Published On: August 2, 2023

If you’re divorcing a medical doctor or are a medical doctor divorcing your spouse, there are several key things to keep in mind:

Valuing a Medical Doctor’s Medical Practice

If either you or your spouse is an owner of a medical practice, your divorce lawyer will need to evaluate the owner’s interest in the medical practice and what portion of that ownership is martial versus separate. Valuing a medical practice will most likely require the assistance of an expert. The expert will need financial statements for the past 3-5 years among other documents to come up with an approximate value of the practice (and the owner’s respective portion of that value). Many times there are restrictions regarding who can hold an ownership interest in a medical practice (that an owner must be a medical doctor, etc.). If that is the case, the doctor may need to provide the non-doctor spouse with a greater portion of the other marital assets to reimburse the non-doctor spouse for his/her marital interest in the medical practice.

Valuing a Medical Doctor’s Interest in an Office Building

Some doctors own their own office buildings and/or have an interest in their medical office building. If this is the case, the building will need to be appraised as a part of the divorce process. An experienced appraiser can help the attorney determine how much the medical doctor’s interest is worth in the office building. Even though the medical doctor may have a substantial interest in an office building, often times that interest is not liquid. This will need to be factored into the ultimate equitable distribution award.

Determining a Medical Doctor’s Income

Some doctors work for multiple hospitals and/or practices and therefore have multiple sources of income each year. Additionally, many times they receive bonuses or incentive pay related to meeting certain work benchmarks (related to hours worked, number of cases worked, etc.). In Virginia, the Court looks at gross income when determining spousal and child support. Your divorce attorney will need documents related to all sources of income to determine the doctor spouse’s gross income.

On Call Schedule/ Shifts and Custody

If the doctor partner has a schedule where he or she is sometimes “on call,” the attorney will need to keep this in mind when developing a parenting time schedule. Some families are able to agree on a flexible schedule that shifts each month depending on the doctor parent’s schedule. Some families cannot accommodate that. This will require the doctor parent to make sure they have certain days completely off from work. If that is not possible, they will need to have back-up in place (a nanny, grandparent, etc.) in the event he or she gets called to the hospital during his or her parenting time with the children.

Consulting with a Family Law Attorney

These are just a few of the many issues medical doctors and those married to medical doctors face during a divorce. An experienced family law attorney can help you identify and address these and other unique considerations related to your family’s circumstances.

Emily C. Baker is a family law attorney and partner at Tucker PLLC.  For more information on how to navigate your unique situation in divorce, contact Emily at or schedule a consultation.

Learn more about the Tucker Family Law Team