The higher your assets, the more is at stake in your divorce — and the more you have to lose. 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.
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.
Protect your assets. For a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County high-asset divorce lawyer, call 630-305-0222.
High-asset divorces are generally considered to be those that involve more than $5 million in multiple liquid assets. 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.
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:
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. In addition, if you and your spouse have an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, certain property may be excluded from the marital estate.
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:
High-asset divorce is complicated by many factors. There are a greater number and value of assets than in a typical divorce, and planning needs to be made for equitable distribution of multiple homes and properties, valuable belongings, wide-reaching and international investments, professional practices and businesses, retirement accounts and other substantial assets. Our high-asset divorce team will do everything possible to ensure a fair distribution.
High-asset divorces involve complex issues and may require investigation and locating hidden assets. Our attorneys dig deep to obtain a true picture of the situation and call upon skilled financial analysts and valuation specialists when needed, including:
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 for 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.
In any divorce, making mistakes can be costly, but there is much more to lose if your divorce is a high-asset one. Here are some common mistakes that divorcing spouses make:
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 divorce lawyer, call 630-305-0222 today.
During trial four experts all testified against our client the Judge found it was in the best interest of the child that our client be awarded custody. We have successfully represented clients in numerous child custody cases.
We recently analyzed a case whereby the opposing side was seeking a substantial award of maintenance against our client. After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances and several hearings, our client’s obligation to pay maintenance was limited to two years at half of what his former spouse was seeking.
After our client voluntarily changed employment we were able to obtain a substantial reduction in child support payments. We have also stopped such reductions when representing clients receiving child support.