When Complex Divorce And Family Law Matters Must Be Handled Right, People Turn To Us

When Complex Divorce And Family Law Matters Simply Must Be Handled Right, People Turn To Us

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
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Inheritance

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

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.

What is a high net worth divorce?

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.

What types of assets may need to be divided in a high-asset divorce?

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.

How do I protect my assets in a high net worth divorce?

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.

How does “equitable distribution” work in Illinois?

Unlike other states that divide assets 50/50, Illinois uses an equitable approach that considers each party’s situation, individual contributions, property value and future needs to determine how marital property should be distributed. This may mean that assets are not divided equally, but instead fairly to each party’s unique needs. Property division is very difficult. It can help to seek out an experienced and trained divorce lawyer to discuss asset distribution options.

How is “marital property” determined in Illinois?

Most assets acquired during a marriage in Illinois are considered marital property. That can include a house, vehicle, stocks, debt, retirement plans and investment accounts. Marital property is different from nonmarital property. Nonmarital property may include assets obtained before marriage, assets excluded with the use of a premarital or postnuptial agreement, gifts and inheritances. Nonmarital assets can be turned into marital assets, such as if a spouse was added to a house title.

What are the tax concerns in a high net worth divorce?

The tax consequences of the property division process are often overlooked, to the detriment of one or both parties. Capital gains taxes and taxes on premature withdrawals of investments can have a big impact on the value of a couple’s assets. Our attorneys at Taege Law Offices can help you take a strategic approach that minimizes taxation.

Can a spouse fraudulently transfer assets before the division process in a divorce?

Some spouses do not want to play fair. They may temporarily transfer assets to friends and relatives through various means, including fake payments for services, cheap sales, or disguised as the repayment of a debt, to make their assets look smaller – fully intending to reclaim their property once the divorce is over. Our attorneys have many strategies to discover assets hidden through fraudulent transfers or other means.

Will alimony be a consideration?

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.

How do you uncover hidden assets in a divorce?

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.

To arrange a free, fully private divorce consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm by calling 312-667-7706 today.

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