The process of divorce can be emotionally and financially draining. This is particularly true for couples who have a high net worth, as they often have complex financial situations that need careful consideration as they work to separate their lives from each other and legally dissolve their marriage. If you are in this situation, addressing these vital financial issues will be crucial, since it will ensure that you will be able to move forward and maintain financial stability after terminating your marriage.
Key Financial Issues to Consider During a High Net Worth Divorce
Categorizing marital property vs. separate property: An important aspect of any divorce involves identifying which assets are considered marital property. In high net worth divorce cases, one spouse may have brought significant pre-marital assets into the marriage that should not be subject to division. Clear documentation of the source of different types of assets can be crucial when determining what property will be subject to division. In some cases, the terms of a prenuptial agreement may play a role in determining what types of assets will be considered marital or separate property.
Valuing complex assets: High net worth couples often possess diverse investments such as stocks, bonds, real estate holdings, businesses, retirement accounts, and more. Determining an accurate valuation of these complex assets is necessary to ensure a fair division during the divorce process. Certain procedures may need to be followed when dividing these assets, such as using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to divide retirement accounts and pensions without incurring penalties or being required to pay taxes.
Business ownership: If one or both spouses own a business or professional practice, its value must be appraised correctly. This can involve engaging forensic accountants. Additionally, it is important to consider whether the business was started before or during the marriage, and how much each spouse contributed to its growth. If a business was founded during the couple’s marriage, a postnuptial agreement may have been created to decide how ownership of the business would be handled in the event of divorce. Depending on the specific circumstances of a case, a couple may decide to sell a business, one spouse may maintain sole ownership by buying out the other spouse’s share, or the couple may continue working together as co-owners and business partners.
Spousal support: In high net worth divorces, spousal support (also known as maintenance or alimony) can be a particularly significant issue, especially if one spouse earns the majority of the family’s income. When making decisions about spousal support, the court will consider various factors, including the length of the marriage, the earning capacities of each spouse, the lifestyle maintained while the couple was together, and each party’s financial needs.
Child support: Child custody (now called parental responsibilities) issues and child support matters can sometimes complicate high net worth divorces. The financial needs of the children should be addressed properly. Under Illinois law, the calculations used to determine child support obligations will consider both parents’ incomes. When parents earn high incomes or own valuable assets, multiple forms of income may need to be considered to determine the amount that each parent will be required to provide to meet their children’s ongoing needs.
Contact Our Hillside High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
If you need to address complex financial issues during your divorce, it is crucial to have an experienced family law attorney on your side. At [[title]], our Oak Park high asset divorce lawyer can guide you through the legal process of ending your marriage, make sure you take the best steps to protect your interests, and provide valuable advice on how to deal with different financial subjects.. Contact us today at [[phone]] to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you complete the divorce process successfully.