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High Net Worth Divorce: FAQ

As a Chicago and Lake County divorce lawyer, I understand that high-net worth people have concerns particular to their wealth. You may read the following FAQ or contact me to discuss your situation.

  1. Are assets split 50/50 in an Illinois divorce? The judge might divide assets right down the middle, but is not required to. That’s because in an Illinois dissolution of marriage (divorce), judges divide assets “equitably.” What does that mean? Essentially, a judge will divide assets according to what he or she thinks is fair, based on a variety of factors. That could mean a 50/50 split, a 60/40 split, and so forth.
  2. Will I have to pay alimony? Alimony is now referred to as “spousal support.” Spousal support is supposed to be rehabilitative; in other words, it is not supposed to last forever.  Judges may use discretion when awarding spousal support, and they are supposed to award support such that the person receiving the support can maintain the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
  3. How much child support will I have to pay? Child support is set by statute, but deviations are possible. One of the deviations that high-net worth individuals are often concerned with are deviations for high-earners. For example, as outlined in my article  “Illinois child support: the basics,” without any deviation a payor of child support would pay 20 percent of his or her net income pursuant to statute. However, a child support payor may receive a downward deviation if the net income is more than a certain amount; Cook County judges generally allow a downward deviation when the payor’s net income is at least $200,000, and DuPage County judges generally use the $300,000 as the point at which they deviate downward for high earners. You can see my article titled “Child support in Illinois: reduced below guidelines” for an example of a case where I won a deviation for my client.
  4. What about my business in a divorce: Business can be marital property if they were started or acquired during the marriage. You may want to view my article titled, “Dividing property in divorce: Overview.”
  5. How long will my divorce take? High-net worth divorce can take longer because there are more issues to consider, and because the parties can afford to litigate those issues. The best thing to do is to consult an Illinois family law attorney to get a better idea of the issues involved in your case.
  6. How much will my divorce cost? It is impossible to say how much a divorce will cost. Consider that you will simply have to determine if spending money on legal fees is worth it, considering the potential (but uncertain) payoff.

Getting a lawyer for a high-net worth divorce

If you are concerned about your property, that’s understandable. And whether or not you support vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, I might be able to help. You might be interested in a consultation with me, Chicago divorce lawyer David Wolkowitz. You may contact me online or at Three-One-Two-554-5433 .

 

About the author: Contact Illinois family law attorney David Wolkowitz at 312-554-5433 or online. He is a family law and divorce attorney serving Chicago and the Counties of Cook, Champaign, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Areas of practice include divorce, uncontested divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, child support, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (the “UCCJEA”).