August 22, 2023
When you are wealthy, people may envy you and wish to live the life that you lead, but they do not know the whole story. The breakdown of a marriage is painful regardless of your financial situation, and high-income families face some unique challenges. For example, if you are a stay-at-home mother while your husband’s six-figure income sustains your family, you may hesitate to initiate divorce because you fear the disruption that your children will face if the court orders you to return to the workforce or awards you a small enough share of marital assets and alimony that going back to work is your only choice. If you are well established in your field, you may fear that salacious gossip about your divorce will harm your professional reputation, and if you and your husband are in the same industry, you may fear losing the friendship of your colleagues as they choose sides in your divorce. A Chicago high-net-worth divorce lawyer can help you dissolve your marriage as peacefully as possible and ensure that you get a fair share of your marital property.
In every divorce case, the court must divide the couple’s marital property. Illinois law requires all couples in the process of divorce to attend divorce mediation as a prerequisite to going to trial. Most couples are able to agree to a marital settlement agreement during mediation, so no trial is necessary. If the case goes to trial, the judge divides the marital property based on the principle of equitable distribution, which means that each former spouse gets his or her fair share of marital property, even if it is not an equal division. Likewise, if the couple has minor children, the parents must agree to a parenting plan, and if they reach an impasse about certain aspects of it, the judge must decide those.
In other words, the elements of divorce are the same regardless of your tax bracket, and so are the points of disagreement. You might disagree about how much marital property each spouse should keep, and there may be room for disagreement about whether certain assets are marital or separate.
The higher the value of your assets, the more likely it is that you and your spouse will disagree about your value. This is especially likely if you own stocks and business ownership interests since the value of these assets can fluctuate quickly. Another point of contention that is more common in high-asset divorce is that one spouse accuses the other of concealing or dissipating marital assets to stop the first spouse from getting a share of them in the property division scheme.
A Chicago family law attorney can help you finalize your divorce as quickly and with as little stress as possible, even when the value of your marital assets is considerable. Contact Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss your case.