Divorce is one of the most stressful life situations you will ever deal with. The decision to end your marriage is a big one and it can be even more difficult when you have many assets. Some people associate high-net-worth divorce attorneys with celebrities and billionaires. However, they are certainly not the only ones to benefit from these unique services.
If you own a business, property, homes, and other assets and have multiple investments and bank accounts, you may be in need of a high-net-worth divorce attorney in Illinois. A high-net-worth attorney understands the complexities of divorce between spouses who have big incomes and a large number of assets.
What is a High-Net-Worth Divorce?
Traditionally, the term “high-net-worth” applies to a divorce in which the couple has assets in excess of a million dollars. In reality, couples involved in high net worth divorces may have assets that total into the tens of millions or more.
These divorces are unique because of the many assets as well as the high dollar amount of couples. Couples with a high net worth have much more to lose in a contentious divorce. Therefore, it is in your best interest to seek legal guidance from a skilled high net-worth-divorce attorney to make sure that you have a fair division of your marital property.
How High Net Worth Impacts Divorce
Some couples have few assets, a low bank account, and little property, making for a simpler divorce process. Those who have a large number of assets have probably been married for a longer period of time and enjoy a comfortable or luxurious lifestyle. There are various issues that have to be resolved in a high-net-worth divorce.
Illinois is not a community property state. Therefore, any assets and property obtained after the wedding are considered marital property. Marital property is to be divided between spouses in an equitable manner in a divorce. A stay order may be helpful to ensure that assets remain untouched until an equitable split is agreed upon.
Property division is likely the most contentious part of a settlement in a high-net-worth divorce. There is some complexity in finding all marital assets, valuing assets, and making sure they get distributed properly. A skilled Crystal Lake high net worth divorce attorney understands this important aspect of divorce.
Child Support Issues
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/) (IMDMA) provides that child support is calculated on the combined net income of parents. The courts may deviate from this basic support obligation, particularly when parents have a high net worth. Child support payments are then divided between parents in a shared parenting arrangement.
Parents in high net worth families often provide more and better options for their children. They often enroll children in private schools, academic advancements, activities, and sports that could be expensive. Children may also be accustomed to a high standard of living. The court may consider these matters when ordering child support.
Many couples who enjoy a high net worth own a business. It can be extremely challenging to divide a business when a couple divorces. Many times, a contract is in place that provides for how to handle the succession of a business when a couple divorces. If such a document is not in place it is up to parties to decide how to handle the business. Since the business may be the main source of income for the family, parties need to determine their new roles in the company moving forward.
Spousal support statutes in Illinois (750 ILCS 5/504), also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, is money that one spouse pays to the other for ongoing living expenses. Spousal support is often necessary when one party was the primary provider while the other person primarily stayed home and took care of the children and home. Spousal support is a necessary part of a high net worth divorce in Illinois.
There are several factors that are used to calculate support such as:
- The length of the marriage
- The ages and health of the spouses
- The education and earning ability of parties
- And more
High Net Worth Divorces are More Complex
Divorces between couples with a high net worth are inherently much more complicated than other divorces. The many financial matters can make negotiations difficult, and they can become contentious. Divorce litigation in these cases can be more challenging and is best done with help from an attorney with experience handling high net worth divorces. Your lawyer knows the many various matters that apply in a divorce where there are many assets involved. Due to the complexity and variety of additional assets involved, a high net worth divorce attorney is best suited to handle these cases.
High Net Worth Divorces Can Become Emotionally Charged
It can be easy to quickly get emotional during a divorce and this can lead to a more lengthy resolution. It is best to choose a high net worth divorce attorney to take care of the details of the process. An experienced attorney does not get flustered with the many aspects of a high net worth divorce and will easily work through issues to achieve the best results for their client. Your stress level may be high, so you want to retain a high net worth divorce attorney so you can rest assured that you will achieve the correct outcome in a reasonable length of time.
Tips for Choosing a High Net Worth Attorney
Your lawyer is your guide throughout the divorce process, so it is essential to choose a Crystal Lake high net worth divorce attorney you like. Most important is the experience that an attorney has in dealing with complex high net worth divorce cases. Although you may receive recommendations from friends, make sure that you evaluate an attorney based on your individual needs.
Keep in mind that a high net worth divorce may take longer to resolve than a typical divorce, so be prepared for the legal costs involved. Always opt for an attorney who you like since you will be working with your legal representative through the process.
To find out more about high-net-worth divorce, contact our legal team at Bruning & Associates at (815) 455-3000 to discuss your legal needs today.