Il divorce lawyerWhen couples with high net worth, substantial assets, and wealth wish to part ways in Illinois, they opt for a high-asset divorce. Usually, this applies to a divorce with liquid assets worth more than $1 million.

Asset Division in a High Net-Worth Divorce

Illinois courts recognize equitable distribution laws for asset division in divorce cases, including high net-worth ones. This means the split is not straight down the middle. Rather, the court divides assets equitably and as fairly as possible. Special care is taken for assets in a high net-worth divorce since much more is at stake.

Some of the assets that are difficult to evaluate in this type of divorce include multiple:

  • Investments such as rental and vacation properties
  • Professional practices or businesses
  • High-value possessions such as collectibles, antiques, artwork, etc.
  • Retirement asset resources such as pensions and 401(k)
  • Sources of deferred income, such as stocks and bonds

Top Factors Judges Consider When Dividing High Net-Worth Assets

In Illinois, judges have the discretion to determine the equitable nature of property in a divorce. Since it is a no-fault state, they cannot take domestic violence, abuse, adultery, or any other conduct for their decisions. Some of the factors they consider include the following:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • Potential future earnings of the spouses
  • The health and ages of the spouses
  • Tax obligations of both spouses
  • What each spouse contributed to the marriage and the marital estate
  • Spousal maintenance or child support obligations from a previous marriage
  • Dissipation against the marital estate

Why Standard Formulas Don’t Apply

While Illinois courts use customary formulas to determine spousal maintenance and child support for typical divorce cases, these may be inapplicable in a high-asset divorce. For instance, the original spousal maintenance formula is applicable only to divorcing couples with a combined income of less than $250,000 annually.

In a divorce that involves expensive assets, it is up to the court to determine monthly child support and spousal maintenance payments. The judge will decide how much will be based on income, among other criteria.

The Dissipation Exemption

Dissipation refers to money spent for purposes other than marital ones after a marriage breaks down, and the court considers it in some high-asset divorce cases. Common dissipation examples include expensive jewelry gifted to someone else, expensive cars, vacations, or retaliatory shopping sprees.

If the court determines that dissipation is evident, it could order the spouse responsible for reimbursing their ex-partner a portion of the spent amount. The distribution will be based on equitable distribution criteria.

Contact a Hinsdale High Asset Divorce Attorney for a Consultation

There is much more at stake in a high-asset divorce than a typical divorce in Illinois. Contact a Hinsdale high-asset divorce attorney at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio to discuss legal options. We also offer legal guidance for child support and spousal maintenance. Dial 630-920-8855 to book a consultation with us in which we can discuss legal strategies.