High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers in Downers Grove Helping You Protect Your Assets
Going through a divorce can be a stressful period for anyone. But if you and your spouse have many high-value assets or a significant income, the divorce process can quickly become complex. Dividing high-value assets can be difficult, especially without a professional on your side. Fortunately, an experienced divorce attorney can assist you in filing your divorce and ensuring the process is fair to you and your spouse.
Our team of Downers Grove divorce attorneys is here to help you through every step of your divorce. From compiling your assets to filing for divorce to negotiating with your spouse, we have experience in it all. Our team will help you expedite your divorce process while providing asset protection and advice on complex issues. For more information and a free initial consultation, call The Law Offices of Robert B. Buchanan at 630-866-8303.
What is a High Net Worth Divorce?
A high net worth divorce is any divorce where the couple has substantial assets and income. Assets can include investments, property, and business interests. Since the couple may need to hire professionals to value the assets for fair division, high net worth cases can quickly be complex. For some couples, considerations like trusts, prenuptial agreements, and tax implications can prolong the process even more.
Typically, a high net worth divorce is classified as any divorcing couple with assets worth more than $1 million. However, that number can be much higher today and can even reach billions. High net worth divorce cases are often treated on a case-by-case basis in court. While courts have standard formulas to calculate child and spousal support, those usually do not apply to high-asset divorce clients. For instance, the formula for spousal support only accounts for couples who make up to $250,000 of annual income. Therefore, the particular circumstances of your case would impact how much spousal support is awarded.
How Are Assets Divided in a High Net Worth Divorce?
Because Illinois is an equitable distribution state, the court will always attempt to divide assets fairly and equitably rather than equally. Property division is typically very complex in high net-worth divorce cases, and the courts will factor in each spouse’s income, age, health, and other considerations while splitting assets.
The dissipation exception may also factor into the division of assets during the divorce process. Dissipation is any money a spouse spends after the marriage breaks down. In some divorce cases, spouses spend extravagant amounts of money as “revenge” for the impending divorce. For instance, a spouse might go on an expensive vacation, go on a shopping spree, or buy expensive gifts for a new significant other. In this case, any money spent will be factored into the property division, and the spouse that spent the money may even be required to repay some of the money spent.
What Factors Does a Judge Consider in High Net Worth Divorce Cases?
Illinois is a no-fault state, meaning it cannot factor in adultery, domestic violence, conduct, or abuse while dividing assets. Judges also cannot consider one spouse at fault for the divorce and award them a smaller amount of assets as punishment. However, there are some factors that judges will consider when dividing property in high net-worth cases.
These factors include:
- Length of the marriage
- Health and age of each spouse
- Income earned by each spouse
- Future earnings of each spouse
- Contributions made to the marriage and marital property
- Tax considerations of each spouse
- Child support or spousal maintenance payments from a previous marriage
- Dissipation against the marital estate
What Are the Risk Factors for a High Net Worth Divorce?
All divorce cases come with some inherent financial risk. But in high net-worth divorce cases, those risk factors can be even more significant and have higher consequences. Every divorce is unique, but there are some common risk factors that our team sees often.
Common risk factors for high net-worth divorce cases include:
Spousal support is a payment from one spouse to another to assist with quality of life and other needs. Typically, the court will decide how much the payment is and how long it must be paid. Without an experienced divorce lawyer on your side, you could end up paying thousands per month to your ex-spouse.
Co-ownership of a business with your spouse can be challenging to divvy up in a divorce. Typically, you will need to hire a professional to assign value to the business before it can be divided. However, the tax consequences of dividing a business can impact you for years to come.
Complex assets like stock options and other compensation may be considered marital property. Your spouse could argue that since you acquired the asset during the marriage, they are entitled to some of it. However, a member of our team can argue that these assets are yours and yours alone.
Defining separate vs. marital property can be challenging to do in high net-worth cases. Because all marital assets are fair game for dividing up, it’s essential to have an experienced lawyer on your side to prove what is your separate property.
How Important is a High Net Worth Divorce Attorney?
In any divorce, having an experienced attorney on your side is always essential. In high-net-worth divorces, it’s even more critical since your assets and income may be on the line. Fortunately, our experienced team is knowledgeable in handling high net worth cases and can walk you through the process to protect your assets and interests. For more information, call The Law Offices of Robert B. Buchanan today at 630-866-8303.