Many people falsely assume that having significant wealth eliminates most, if not all, of an individual’s problems in life. However, having a high net worth often leads to its own unique set of problems and challenges, especially when a marriage ends in divorce. If you are planning to end your marriage and you or your spouse own high-value assets or have a high income, you need to know how this can influence the divorce process. This blog will discuss some common challenges that people with high net worth face during their divorce.
Getting Divorced When You Have High-Value Assets and Income
High-net-worth divorce cases are often much more complex than an average divorce case. As you prepare for divorce, make sure to plan for challenges such as:
- Valuing assets – One of the biggest challenges for people with high net worth is properly valuing all their assets. Bank account balances are easy to calculate, but valuing more complex assets such as businesses, stocks, and real estate can be much more difficult. Fine art, jewelry, antiques, collections, and other unique items may also need to be valued. It is important to get an accurate appraisal in order to ensure that your marital assets are divided fairly.
- Dividing complex business interests – If either you or your spouse owns a business, it will need to be appraised in order for the Court to identify and value the marital assets associated with the business. In absence of a valid marital agreement, most businesses established during the marriage are considered marital assets. This means that both spouses are entitled to a portion of the business’s value.
- Spousal support – When one spouse makes significantly more money than the other, spousal support or spousal maintenance may be ordered. High-net-worth individuals are more likely to be ordered to pay spousal support, as their income is often much higher than the average person. Spousal support is determined based on the spouses’ income, their assets, the duration of the marriage, and the lifestyle of both spouses prior to separation.
- Stocks, bonds, and other investments – Many high-net-worth individuals have complex portfolios of stocks, bonds, and other investments. These must be identified and valued in order to determine the value of the marital estate. Dividing these assets between two people can be complicated and require careful negotiation, or even the assistance of a financial advisor.
- Inheritance – Inherited assets are typically considered non-marital assets in an Illinois divorce. However, if inherited assets are mixed with marital assets, the inheritance may become part of the marital estate. Complex inheritance disputes during divorce often require forensic accounting, discovery tools like interrogatories, and assistance from a skilled lawyer.
- Tax implications – Having a high net worth can also have tax implications, both during and after the divorce process.
Contact a Palatine High-Net-Worth Divorce Lawyer
High net-worth divorce cases require special attention and care, as they are often more complex than other divorces. If you are planning to end your marriage and you have a high net worth, contact experienced Arlington Heights high-net-worth divorce lawyer Nicholas W. Richardson for help. Call 847.873.6741 and set up a free initial consultation today.