Divorce and Family Law
Illinois divorce can be a very complicated matter for many reasons, as the parties address how to separate their financial and legal interests, work out child custody and visitation, and tackle spousal support issues. However, for high-net-worth couples and families, the dissolution of the marriage process can be extremely complex. The applicable divorce laws do not change based upon the value of the marital estate, but complicated assets and ownership structures may require input from a wide array of experts.
Bruning & Associates P.C. maintains a team of talented and seasoned lawyers experienced in the areas of:
- High-net-worth divorce law
- Business law, business valuation
- Securities law
- Tax law
- Asset protection
- Estate and trust law
- Complex commercial litigation
- And other fields of law are important to the protection of your rights with respect to the complicated legal issues arising in high-net-worth divorce cases.
Our highly skilled team of attorneys works with a variety of professional experts including forensic accountants, business valuation experts, actuaries, and property appraisers to address complex property and asset division issues. Please contact us to set up a no-cost consultation with an Illinois high-net-worth divorce attorney, and check out a few factors that make these cases unique.
Illinois Property Division Laws
Illinois property division law (750 ILCS 5/503) requires an equitable distribution of all marital assets. As a result, there are two factors involved with the process:
1. All real estate and personal property must be distinguished as martial or separate, a point that initially focuses on the wedding date. All assets acquired after the parties married are considered marital, and anything owned by them beforehand belongs to the individual.
However, the date of marriage is not the only consideration. There can be a blending of ownership, such as where one party owned an asset before marriage – but the other spouse contributed significant time, money, or effort after getting married. In a high-net-worth divorce, there can be disputes over the marital versus separate nature of ownership interests in a business.
2. After classifying assets, all marital property is subject to equitable distribution. Instead of equal division, the point is to accomplish fairness in divvying up assets. Still, each asset must be evaluated before the principles of equitable distribution can be applied. With a high-net-worth divorce, it is critical to have access to the professionals and resources mentioned above.
Spousal Support in Illinois Divorce Cases
There is no right to alimony in Illinois, and it is a myth that the wife will be entitled to support. Instead, either party can petition for maintenance during the divorce case and for spousal support to continue after the case concludes.
However, beyond these basic points, judges have considerable discretion in awarding the type, amount, and duration of alimony. There are numerous factors listed in the statute, with the goal being to balance financial disparities between the parties. The considerations that often impact high-net-worth divorce include:
- The income, assets, and needs of each party.
- The couple’s standard of living during the marriage.
- Sources of income.
- How equitable distribution of property is accomplished.
How High-Net-Worth Divorce Impacts Children
Illinois child support law (750 ILCS 5/505) focuses on the child’s best interests when making decisions on the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time – terms you may know familiarly as custody and visitation. The value of the marital estate is not a priority.
Still, a high-net-worth divorce could affect child support. Illinois uses the income shares model to evaluate child support, along with statutory guidelines. In appropriate cases, a judge can deviate from these guidelines to order a higher amount to be paid by the non-residential parent. When determining whether a deviation is appropriate, the court may consider:
- The financial resources and needs of the parent with whom the child primarily lives.
- The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the parents stayed together.
- The financial resources of the nonresidential parent.
Options for Resolving Disputes in High-Net-Worth Divorce
When you have worked hard to accumulate assets and reach a certain income level, you want to do all you can to protect your interests. Litigation over property division and alimony can be extremely costly, so it is wise to consider other alternatives for working out disagreements. Our Illinois high-net-worth divorce attorneys at Bruning & Associates P.C. will assist with options for avoiding a trial, including:
Marital Settlement Agreements
In many cases, the parties can compromise on property division, including what assets are marital and how to divide them. Assistance from financial professionals remains crucial for valuation purposes. Illinois law also encourages parties to agree on alimony, which can work as a lump sum and be worked into asset division.
High-Net-Worth Divorce Mediation
When the parties cannot compromise, mediation is an option that may get them closer together on an agreement. With help from a trained mediator, it is easier to see the other’s point of view.
When litigation is necessary to resolve high-net-worth divorce issues, you can rely on Bruning & Associates, P.C. to tackle the important tasks. Our attorneys have sharp trial advocacy skills, so we can develop a solid strategy for achieving your goals.
An Illinois High-Net-Worth Divorce Lawyer Will Protect Your Interests
Divorce is never easy, but numerous factors can complicate the process when the stakes are high as far as property division and spousal support. Disagreements involving money or children can be emotional and contentious. But, you do not have to tackle these challenges alone. You can count on our team at Bruning & Associates, P.C. to advise you, as we have decades of combined experience and access to financial resources that play a critical role in high-net-worth divorce.
Please contact Bruning & Associates, P.C. today to schedule your free consultation with an Illinois high-net-worth divorce lawyer. We have offices conveniently located near you in Chicago, Schaumburg, and Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Serving clients involved in high-net-worth divorce cases in northern Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, McHenry County, Lake County, Will County, Boone County, DeKalb County, Kendall County, LaSalle County, and Winnebago County.