Maneuvering a High Asset Divorce During an Unprecedented Time

On behalf of Michael J. Smith, Attorney at Law, LLC
Feb 09,2021

If you are considering a divorce amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone. As couples spend more isolated time together, divorce rates in the United States have skyrocketed.
 
Seeking divorce amid a pandemic presenting uncertainty is hard enough. For high net worth couples in Illinois however, the process can become notably stressful, as the process of dividing assets and awarding alimony is typically more complex.

How Are Assets Divided in Illinois High Asset Divorces?

Illinois is an “equitable division” property state, which means that instead of being divided in half, a couple’s property will be split equitably, or fairly. However, this process becomes more complicated in a high net worth divorce, due to the fact that more assets exist. There is also typically a heightened comingling of assets. In an Illinois divorce, “marital property” and “non-marital property” must be identified, as solely “marital property” is split. With numerous assets, it may become complicated to prove which assets fall under the “marital” vs. “non-marital” categories. An experienced attorney will ensure proper documentation is presented in order to properly distinguish assets into these categories.

Judges take several factors into consideration when deciding how assets are split in Illinois. These factors include the length of the marriage, each spouse’s contribution toward the assets and the future earnings that are likely for each spouse. It is important to have experienced legal counsel advocating for you, to ensure all assets subject to division are discovered. If your spouse hides assets to avoid them being split in the divorce process, any failure to discover these assets could result in permanent loss for you and your future. 

How Do Illinois Courts Calculate Alimony in High Net Asset Divorce vs. a Typical Divorce?

In a divorce where the combined income of each party is less than $500,000 in Illinois, there is a particular mathematical formula utilized to calculate how much alimony will be awarded to the receiving spouse. In a high asset divorce however, which is defined by Illinois law as a divorce where the net income of a couple is $500,000 or more, a court does not utilize this typical formula. A judge will instead identify what they deem fair, by considering many circumstances (outlined in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/504)) such as each party’s income and the standard of living of each party. 

Experienced Guidance is Paramount

It becomes clear that there is much at stake during a high asset divorce in Illinois. If a mistake is made due to the negligent guidance of inexperienced legal counsel, large fortunes could be lost. Regret resulting from your divorce with numerous assets on the line is no small regret. Avoid any regret by contacting Michael J. Smith, Attorney at Law, LLC. During these unprecedented and uncertain times, you need an attorney who will stand by your side and fight for what is yours. Attorney Michael J. Smith has helped clients in northern Illinois for 40 years. Contact our office in Rockford today at 815-282-8228 or our contact form to discuss your case.

Share this Post

FacebookTwitterLinkedIn