The decision to divorce a spouse can be a difficult one to make, and it may cause a lot of mental anguish to both parties involved. In Illinois, laws related to marriage and divorce are outlined by statute in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (The Act).
According to the Act, a couple must live separately for a minimum of two years and must have attempted to reconcile before a divorce will be granted. In some instances, a court may award a divorce to a couple that lives apart for six months if they both offer a written stipulation to the court. Generally, divorce is not a quick process and may require a lot of time and patience before it is settled. However when a spouse has entered the marriage as wealthy, or accumulated a substantial amount of wealth during the marriage, things can become even more complicated.
High Net Worth Divorces
Often, people who are wealthy prior to entering into a marriage require that their future spouse sign a prenuptial agreement that outlines some of the details in the event a divorce is to occur. However, the reality is that not everyone feels comfortable asking their spouse to sign such an agreement or does not become wealthy until they have been married for several years.
Incidentally, a divorce involving a high net worth spouse can result in a more detailed discovery process to disclose all equitable assets and additional litigation to determine how to distribute the assets. Like any divorce, the distribution of assets begins by characterizing and valuing each asset. Typically, high net worth divorces involve real estate property, retirement funds, stock funds, trust funds, art, jewelry, and multiple bank accounts. It may be tricky to accurately value some of these assets and may require the help of financial experts who specialize in the respective area.
Additionally, parties to a high net divorce should also take into consideration tax implications. Payments such as child support and spousal support can greatly affect each spouse’s tax burdens.
Finally, drawn out litigation may not be ideal for some parties of a high net worth divorce. An increased amount of court appearances may negatively affect a person’s business or create unwanted negative attention. Thus, retaining an attorney who is experienced in high net worth divorces is not only advisable, but necessary.
Contact an Experienced High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
If you are contemplating obtaining a divorce from your spouse in Illinois and are worried about some of your valuable assets, contact one of the DuPage County divorce lawyers at Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C. today. Our attorneys are experienced in handling clients with substantial wealth and can help you retain control of your hard earned assets.