Dupage County Lawyers

DuPage County High-Asset Divorce Attorneys

REAL PROBLEMS. REAL SOLUTIONS.

The higher your assets, the more is at stake in your divorce, and the more complex it will probably be. While all divorcing couples are pressed to make life-altering decisions affecting their children, living arrangements, and financial futures, those with high-income and assets will have substantial financial and tax issues in divorce. How complicated your divorce becomes depends on what assets are involved, whether there are child custody and parental responsibility issues, and how willing you and your divorcing spouse are to come to agreements.

Assets that may include business interests, inheritances and trusts, retirement accounts and pension plans, real estate, jewelry and collectibles can be difficult to value and categorize as marital or non-marital property.  Dividing these assets requires hiring attorneys who are adept at properly classifying and pricing these assets and who work with experts that specialize in the areas of investigating, appraising and accounting.

At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., our skilled Illinois divorce lawyers have extensive experience protecting the interests of doctors, professionals, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and spouses of top-salaried individuals in divorce and family law cases. Our experience in high-asset divorce gives us a clear understanding of the financial and emotional stakes when family-owned businesses, real estate, pensions, or stock options are in play during marital property division.

We are committed to providing legal representation of the highest quality, have substantial experience in contested family law matters, and are aggressive in protecting our clients’ rights and assets. At the same time, we focus on preserving relationships, which is often essential when divorcing spouses need to continue working in the same business or industry — as well for co-parenting.

For a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County high-asset divorce lawyer, contact us online or call 630-305-0222.

Dividing Assets in Illinois

Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means marital property does not have to be divided equally.  Instead, property is divided in a manner that the courts feel is fair after evaluating the circumstances.

To do this, Illinois law considers factors that include:

  • the contribution of each spouse to the increase or decrease in value of property
  • the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker or to the family unit
  • the value of the property assigned to each spouse
  • the length of the marriage
  • the economic circumstances of each spouse, including the desirability of awarding the family home to the spouse having custody of the children
  • obligations from a prior marriage
  • the age, health, occupation, and skills of the parties
  • the custody provisions for children and whether there is to be alimony
  • any prenuptial agreement
  • the tax consequences of the property division
  • any dissipation, wasting or hiding of assets
  • the opportunity to earn income and acquire assets in the future

Marital or Non-marital Property

In dividing property, the courts will consider whether the property is marital, non-marital or commingled and then assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt.  After that, the marital assets will be distributed in an equitable fashion.

Marital property consists of all assets you or your spouse acquired during the marriage and before your divorce judgment.  It also includes non-marital property that has been transferred into co-ownership and commingled.

Separate or non-marital property is that which is owned solely by one spouse or the other.  It cannot be divided by the courts in a divorce.

When assets have been mixed or commingled, it needs to be determined whether property is marital or separate. Even if one spouse may have acquired assets before marriage, if the asset appreciated in value in during the marriage, it may be considered as marital property and be subject to division.

Common assets at issue in high-asset divorces include:

  • Professional practices and family-owned businesses
  • Retirement funds, 401(k) plans, pensions and benefits
  • Other financial assets such as IRAs, stocks, stock options and bonds
  • Local, interstate and international bank accounts
  • International, offshore and overseas assets
  • Houses, vacation homes and investment properties
  • Valuable belongings and collectibles such as antique cars, jewelry or art
  • Compensation awards from workers’ compensation, personal injury or medical malpractice cases
  • Vehicles including cars, boats, motorcycles and recreational vehicles

Protecting Clients In Complex Divorces

High-asset divorces sometimes involve hidden assets and require investigation.  Our attorneys dig deep to obtain a true picture of the situation and call upon skilled financial analysts and valuation specialists when needed, including:

  • Financial analysts — help evaluate assets, provide advice on preserving income and avoiding negative tax implications, especially involving benefit plans, business entities, spousal support, and real estate. They plan for your future financial needs.
  • Forensic accountants — can assist in tracing investments and uncovering hidden assets and undisclosed asset transfers, and they are qualified to accurately label property as marital or separate.

In addition, our attorneys can help by examining, enforcing and challenging prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.  We will work closely with you to perform a thorough analysis of how your assets and debts were handled during the marriage, protect your right to your separate property and to seek a favorable and equitable distribution of your marital property. We protect our  clients from becoming financially liable to debts associated with their spouse’s business enterprises, and will assist you in determining what additional experts may be needed to protect your financial future.

We believe it is best to deal with high-asset property division issues amicably and settle outside of court if possible. However, if necessary, we will aggressively represent our clients’ interests in court.

CONTACT US FOR HELP AND A FREE CONSULTATION

The skilled Illinois family-law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. know the laws, the courts and the system and can guide you through every aspect of your high-asset divorce. Our fundamental success as a law firm has been in building quality relationships with our clients. We are dedicated to personal attention, responsiveness, and accessibility, and we have a long history of success.

Don’t delay. For a free initial consultation with an experienced and compassionate DuPage County custody lawyer, contact us online or call 630-305-0222 today.

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