A Checklist for Your High Net Worth Divorce

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A Checklist for Your High Net Worth Divorce

Marriage rates are highest among people with the highest income and education levels, but divorce can happen to any married couple, regardless of their net worth. The greater the value of the couple’s marital property, the more likely the divorce will go to trial. Divorce litigation is expensive, so Illinois law requires almost all couples who file for divorce to attempt to settle their divorce cases in mediation. Reaching an agreement in mediation is difficult if the value of your marital assets and debts is in the millions unless you and your spouse have signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. In fact, when a new client tells a divorce lawyer, during an initial consultation, about the couple’s vacation home and country club membership, sometimes the divorce lawyer can tell that litigation is almost inevitable. For help thinking through the many factors you must consider when dividing sizable marital property, contact a Rolling Meadows high-asset divorce lawyer.

Parenting Time and Children’s Expenses

In all divorce cases involving minor children, the court must finalize a parenting plan, stating which parent has parenting time on which days of the year. The parenting plan also includes information about which parent has the final decision about which non-financial matters related to the children, such as extracurricular activities, education, and non-emergency medical care. Based on that, the court decides which parent is responsible for contributing what amount of money toward each expense related to the children. In a high-asset divorce, couples may need to consider the following expenses:

  • Nannies or au pairs
  • Private school tuition
  • Summer camp
  • Sports, music lessons, and other extracurricular activities
  • Tutoring and test prep classes
  • Cars for teenagers

Dividing Marital Property in a High Net Worth Divorce

Illinois law considers property as marital if the couple acquired it during their marriage, regardless of which spouse acquired how much.  If you inherited property during your marriage, it is your separate property unless you treat it as marital property, such as by depositing it in a joint bank account or using it to pay down the mortgage on your marital home. If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement, you may have declared certain assets as separation, whereas, without this agreement, the court would have considered them marital assets.

Property division in high-asset divorce cases is complicated because the couple often owns more than one real estate property. They also tend to own assets where there is room for disagreement about the value, such as business ownership interests or stocks. Likewise, the greater the value of a couple’s assets, the bigger their debts tend to be. Unless the parties have addressed this in a prenuptial agreement, there is often also room for disagreement about the appropriate amount and duration of spousal maintenance.

Contact Andrea Heckman Law About Surviving High-Asset Divorce

A family law attorney can help you divide your valuable marital property and avoid disruption to your children’s routines. Contact Andrea Heckman Law in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, to discuss your questions about your divorce case.

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