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High-net worth divorce: overview

A high-net worth divorce in Illinois may involve many of the same issues as other divorces, with a bit more complication. When the case calls for it, I can work with a network of professionals to provide high-net worth individuals with the expertise needed in preparing for divorce. 

The below article is an overview of some of the primary issues in a high-net worth divorce. You may also view “High Net Worth Divorce: FAQ”  for more information.

Asset Protection

The main objective in high net worth divorce is asset protection. The advantages that each affluent spouse might have for starting life after divorce can easily be dissipated through irresponsible litigation and the churning of legal fees. My approach is to avoid filing motions on borderline issues to achieve a marginal tactical advantage.

The principles of client service in a high net worth divorce are substantially the same as in any other case, with the primary difference one of complexity in the marital property and debt to be divided.

Issues on the horizon

Below is an overview of various concerns in a high-net worth divorce:

  • Marital property? What is marital property – what gets divided?
  • Prenuptial agreements: Some people want to enforce a prenuptial (or antenuptial) agreement. Some what to challenge the enforceability of an agreement or a provision of an agreement.
  • Inheritance during marriage: Inheritances are normally the non-marital property of the receiving spouse. But they can be transmuted into marital property.
  • Business valuation in divorce: The valuation of business assets can be key in a divorce. The proper experts can help.
  • Retirement assets: Division of pensions, IRAs or 401(k) accounts
  • Tax issues:  Sometimes a skilled CPA or divorce financial planner can helped a divorcing couple develop a strategy that minmizes exposure to both parties.
  • Child support: High-income child support obligations can deviate from the child support statute.
  • Spousal support or alimony: Spousal support is no longer supposed to be permanent. But the amount paid, and for how long, can vary greatly.
  • Property division: In a high net worth divorce case, property division and spousal support issues are usually resolved together, with present and future tax considerations often playing an important role in protecting the marital estate.

 

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”).