If you’re getting divorced and have problems agreeing on significant terms, such as what to do with your properties, assets, and custody, you should consult with an expert divorce attorney.
The stakes are even higher when significant assets are involved because finalizing the divorce equitably may be a lengthy and frequently painful process.
Divorces that are categorized as “complex” typically involve a variety of contested issues. Divorce is already emotionally hard, and in cases with high net worth marital assets, international spouses, or even complex debt, there is a lot to deal with, including alimony, custody, and child support issues.
A divorce involving complex issues requires excellent legal knowledge and problem-solving skills. This is especially true when your divorce involves any of the following elements:
Divorces involving complex matters are most common among middle-class families. Divorces involving business ownership by either spouse are more complicated and layered, regardless of the willingness of both parties to cooperate. Partnerships and other entrepreneurial ventures held within a marriage add a new element of complexity to the equation. It is often difficult to determine the best arrangement for an equitable distribution since highly valued properties can be affected by various tax considerations and intricate fair distribution laws.
Some of the typical concerns in high net-worth divorces include:
With each factor, for consideration beyond the joint ownership, allocation of property, and marriage and children issues, divorce becomes more complex.
No matter which party’s name is associated with an asset, it must be cataloged for equitable distribution unless it is separate property, not marital property. Thus, part of the job involved in high-net-worth divorces is determining which properties are marital and which ones are not.
Marital property refers to property that came into possession during the marriage through marital efforts. In contrast, a property is considered separate if you acquired it before the marriage or after the start of divorce proceedings. This can include gifts received from third parties, inheritances, and settlements from personal injury claims. Separate properties are entitled to some protections during divorce, so don’t mix them with marital assets.
Sorting out marital and separate properties is usually done with the help of various business analysts, accountants, and property appraisers. They help catalog, sort, and value all properties. In addition, marital properties are subject to distribution procedures.
Illinois is an equitable distribution state. But even though the law requires that marital property be distributed equitably, this does not mean that it will be divided equally between the divorcing couple. The court considers all of the evidence and makes a judgment based on what it deems fair. In many circumstances, 60:40 or even 70:30 splits are “Equitable” does not necessarily mean equal value, and in specific cases, the majority of the marital estate could be given to one spouse.
Several factors set out in the law guide the court in its decision-making process. Marital misconduct, however is not one of them. Illinois is a “no-fault” state; While your spouse may have participated in multiple affairs and contributed to the end of your marriage, marital property will still be distributed equitably without recognizing the harm done by the spouse’s misdeeds. Factors that influence most settlements include:
You must work with a legal counsel familiar with these factors because they influence over 95 percent of all settlement cases. In addition, reasonable complex divorce attorneys collaborate with a network of experts, such as forensic accountants, appraisers, business valuers, and vocational experts, to prepare and present their case because often, the financial component of high-net-worth divorces is influenced by what these experts unearth and opine.
For years, Brigitte Schmidt Bell, P.C., has handled complex divorce proceedings for high-net-worth clients throughout the Chicagoland area. We understand the nuances involved in high net-worth divorces and provide professional, expert counsel inside and outside the courthouse and negotiation table. We are well-known for our transparency, dedication, and commitment to every client. Every case is different, and that’s why we pay attention to the individual circumstances of your case to make it stronger.
If your divorce involves complex matters such as high-net-worth assets or private practice or the need for discretion and confidentiality, please contact us. We’d be happy to discuss the issues with you so you learn how we can be of service to you. Please give us a call at 847-733-0933 or visit our office for a free consultation.