The Complexities Of A High Net Worth Divorce
At Taege Law Offices, our Chicago divorce lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in high net worth divorces. We know how to help our clients find efficient, effective solutions — while ensuring that their legal rights and financial interests are fully protected.
If you are going through a high-asset divorce in Chicago, Illinois, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm for immediate assistance.
Valuation And Division Of Marital Property
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/), all marital property must be divided in an equitable manner. For high net worth couples, it is crucial that all assets are properly classified as either marital or non-marital property and that all assets receive a comprehensive valuation.
High net worth couples often have complex assets that can be challenging to identify, classify, value and divide. Some notable examples of property that high net worth couples may need to deal with in divorce include:
- Investment accounts
- 401(k)s and retirement accounts, which may involve using a QDRO
- Executive compensation
- Businesses and business interests
- Real estate holdings
- International assets
- Complex debts and liabilities
- Art, antiques, and other valuables
No matter the specific circumstances of your finances and your marriage, you should be prepared to seek guidance from an experienced Chicago high net worth divorce lawyer. Your lawyer will help you find the best resolution that protects your financial interests.
Spousal Maintenance (Alimony), Child Support And High-Asset Divorce
Spousal maintenance (alimony) is far more likely to be awarded in high-asset divorces. Whether you will be required to pay alimony, or you will be eligible to receive maintenance will depend entirely on the unique circumstances of your case.
In Illinois, courts will consider a wide range of different factors in determining if spousal maintenance is appropriate. This includes:
- The financial status and needs of each partner
- The career prospects of each partner
- Current and likely future income and earnings
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The total length of the marriage
- The health and age of each partner
The longer the marriage, the larger the gap between the likely future earnings of each party, and the more the financially disadvantaged spouse sacrificed their career for the marriage, the more likely that maintenance will be awarded.
Frequently Asked Questions About High-Value Divorce
- What is a high net worth divorce?
- What types of assets may need to be divided in a high asset divorce?
- How do I protect my assets in a high asset divorce?
- Will alimony be a consideration?
- How do you uncover hidden assets in a divorce?
It’s common to have questions when you’re facing such a major life and legal transition as divorce. Below, you will find general answers to common questions. Please reach out to our attorneys for guidance on your situation.
A high net worth divorce involves significant marital assets. A high-value marital estate comes with more complex legal considerations. Because the stakes are higher, these cases are more likely to result in contested proceedings. It’s all the more important to work with skilled legal counsel – somebody with experience handling these cases.
Common assets in high net worth divorce cases include:
- The marital home
- Other real estate such as vacation properties and income properties
- Retirement assets such as 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts and pension plans
- Investment accounts, including mutual funds, stocks and bonds
- Business interests
- Motor vehicles, including cars, boats and recreational vehicles
Identifying and valuing all assets in a high-value case is paramount.
Start by gathering detailed documentation – financial statements, account values, appraisals and the like – as early as possible. Doing so will establish a paper trail of your assets and their value.
Consult with an attorney about additional steps for protecting assets in your situation.
Alimony is more likely to be on the table if there is a disparity in income between spouses – for example, if one spouse stayed home to raise children. It’s easier to make a case for alimony in a long-term marriage involving a luxury lifestyle and a big income gap. However, prenuptial agreements may limit or eliminate alimony as an option.
Hidden assets are more likely to be a concern in high-value divorce cases. You may need to take significant steps to identify and document assets. Business records, tax returns and public records may all be valuable sources of information. Our lawyers are familiar with the many strategies for tracking down hidden assets; we can ensure that all assets are appropriately disclosed.
Contact Our Chicago Divorce Lawyers Today
At Taege Law Offices, our Chicago divorce attorneys have extensive experience representing couples with a high net worth in divorce cases. We have a comprehensive understanding of the issues that affect affluent couples.