Rolling Meadows High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
The Golden Corridor, which includes northwest suburbs like Rolling Meadows, Hoffman Estates, and Palatine, is one of the most vibrant and affluent areas of Chicagoland. Small family-owned businesses, like restaurant franchises and car dealerships, dominate the economic landscape here. If divorce affects these families, and it often does, there are some unique issues to work through.
The diligent Rolling Meadows high net worth divorce attorneys at Delaney Heckman pay close attention to details in these situations. At the same time, we never lose sight of the big picture, which involves the protection of your legal and financial rights. So, we simply make a commitment to give our best effort, and our best attitude, every time we work on your case.
Issues in a High Net Worth Divorce
Under Illinois law, marital property must be divided equitably upon divorce. The general classification rule is that assets or debts acquired before the marriage are nonmarital property, and everything else is marital property. This rule is deceptively simple, especially in high net worth divorce situations.
Property often becomes commingled. A real estate rental business is a good example. Assume Husband inherits a rather dilapidated fourplex. Wife uses her property management experience, along with a gift from her parents, to revitalize the fourplex.
The fourplex itself is clearly Husband’s nonmarital property. Wife’s contributions are clearly her nonmarital property. If the couple divorces, depending on the additional facts, the fourplex could be Husband’s nonmarital property, marital property subject to equitable division, or Wife’s nonmarital property. All future income and expenses could likewise be nonmarital or marital property.
Business valuation, specifically business goodwill, is a similar issue in many cases. Most business owners would agree that, although it does not appear in a balance sheet, business goodwill might be an enterprise’s largest and most important asset.
Once again, this asset could be marital or nonmarital property. The outcome depends on the nature of the goodwill. If it comes from the name of the business (Pizza Hut), the goodwill is typically marital property which is subject to an equitable division. If it comes from a spouse’s name (Ken’s Pizzas), the goodwill is usually nonmarital property.
Complications like these often make property division the most time-consuming portion of an Illinois divorce. To help speed the process along, the law sets forth a number of factors to consider, including:
- Contributions to the Marriage: These contributions could be economic or non-economic. Frequently in high net worth situations, one spouse spends lots of time at the office and the other spouse spends lots of time at home. Both these contributions are equal under the law.
- Dissipation (Waste) of Assets: This factor usually involves frivolous business decisions and gifts to boyfriends or girlfriends. The “I’d rather give my money to a lawyer than my ex” strategy is also prevalent in high net worth divorces. That approach could also be considered dissipation.
- Custody of Minor Children: It is usually in the children’s best interest for them to remain in the family home with a parent that is home more often than not. These things usually require the residential parent to have full title over the home and for the residential parent’s work schedule to be limited.
Rolling Meadows high net worth divorce attorneys should be mindful of these factors, and others as well, during court hearings and settlement negotiations. Arguments based on the factors usually resonate well with Cook County judges. And, these same judges are unlikely to approve out-of-court settlements which are inconsistent with the legal property division factors.
Connect with a Dedicated Attorney
High net worth marriage dissolutions involve some unique emotional and financial issues. For a free consultation with an experienced high asset divorce lawyer in Rolling Meadows, contact Delaney Heckman. We routinely handle matters in Cook County and nearby jurisdictions.