High Net Worth Divorce in Illinois

Wheaton Divorce Attorneys

When a couple divorces, one of the most significant components of their divorce is the division of their property. For couples with few assets, this process can be relatively simple. The more assets a couple has, the more complicated it becomes to divide them equitably. Dividing property can be particularly difficult for high net worth couples. Although having a prenuptial agreement can make the property division process more straightforward, it is not a perfect solution. Sometimes, these agreements are deemed to be invalid. In other cases, they are simply no longer relevant because of the changes to existing assets and the addition of new assets during a couple’s marriage.

Before you file for divorce, take the time to learn about the specific challenges you could face because of your net worth. An experienced high net worth divorce lawyer can answer your questions to help you gain a stronger understanding of these challenges and how to address them.

Concerns High Net Worth Couples can Face

A few examples of the challenges high net worth couples can face with their divorces include:

  • Dividing small businesses and professional practices. If the business or practice was the primary source of income for the couple or provided a substantial income stream, it will need to be valued as a marital asset and divided appropriately;
  • Fairly dividing multiple real estate properties;
  • Valuing and dividing investment portfolios. With these, it is important to consider the tax implications of each asset as well as each asset’s risk level. Each partner’s income and potential financial impact from the division of these assets must also be considered carefully;
  • Dividing savings accounts;
  • Dividing retirement accounts, which can require the use of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO); and
  • Valuing and dividing high-value material assets like art and jewelry.

In addition to these concerns, high net worth couples face the same concerns that plague most divorcing couples: concerns about parenting time arrangements, finding hidden assets, and spousal maintenance orders. If your spouse stayed home or took on low-paying work during the marriage to focus on your household and children, you may have a spousal maintenance order created based on your income, your former spouse’s income, and the standard of living established during the marriage.

Preparing for your High Net Worth Divorce

Have your entire asset inventory readily available to share with your lawyer, your accountant, the court, and your partner’s lawyer. You may be asked to provide documents about your marital assets during a deposition. If you are not sure about the location or all your assets, consider working with a forensic accountant to document them.

If you are not sure about the value of certain assets, such as your home or your small business, work with a third-party appraiser to determine their value. Doing this before you begin the divorce process will make dividing your assets much easier.

If you have outstanding debt with your spouse, such as credit card debt, consider paying it off before you file for divorce. If you cannot eliminate all the debt, pay off as much as it can. When your property is divided, your debts are divided as well. Reducing your debt will also make this process much more straightforward.

Deviating from the Standard Child Support Formula Because of your Net Worth

To determine a fair child support amount, Illinois courts follow a formula based on the number of children, the incomes of both parents, and each parent’s amount of parenting time and parental responsibility. For high net worth parents, this formula may be altered to account for the parents’ financial assets. The court may opt to do this in order to give the child the same standard of living that he or she would have enjoyed if his or her parents had remained married.

Work with an Experienced DuPage County Family Law Firm

If you are considering filing for divorce in the near future, work with a passionate DuPage County divorce lawyer who has specific experience working with clients like you. A divorce lawyer might have a great record of handling divorces between middle-class couples, but if they do not have experience handling high net worth divorces, they might not be able to help you as effectively as a lawyer who does. Contact our team at Abear Law Offices today to schedule your initial consultation with a member of our firm.

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