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Illinois family law and high asset divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2021 | Family Law |

A high asset divorce is a complicated legal proceeding where assets can include real estate, tax benefits, stock options, business interests, stock, deferred compensations, trusts, and more. In regions like Naperville and Joliet, divorce in this category can be more of a challenge. 

How Illinois family law works in this matter

In 2016, the state of Illinois became a no-fault divorce state. No-fault means the only grounds for dissolution are irreconcilable differences. A divorce is only granted if the marriage fails, attempts to reverse matters failed and it’s agreed future attempts to reconcile seem impracticable.

Illinois also does not recognize community property. Unlike other states, no spouse can automatically claim rights to anything obtained by the other partner during the union. The negotiations or court decisions can lead to equitable property distribution.

Both these factors significantly increase the complexity of a high asset divorce. 

Special considerations regarding a high asset divorce

What the court will look at in these proceedings is the potential value of future income based on the investments, tax issues, and performance compensation packages. If it’s a contested divorce, the value will depend on asset evaluations conducted by experts. Should there be a trial, the individual spouses can each have their own expert. At that point, the court would review evidence and testimony to decide.

A high asset divorce can be volatile if it gets to court. Your divorce attorney’s job is to keep a clear head and try to get couples to jointly determine asset values and how to distribute them without relying on a judge. An example may be a jointly-owned home. The resolution could be to sell the asset, one spouse paying the other in exchange for other assets. Those assets would be worth more than the other may receive.

Managing the tenor going forward

It’s important to keep cool heads, to have a grasp of applicable family law, and to have realistic expectations. The complexity of a high asset divorce coupled with vitriol is going to be messy no matter how you slice it.

Hopefully, you’ll have the ear of seasoned professionals who you trust to guide you through the quagmire that can be a high asset divorce. If the value of your assets is significant and likely to create tension in a breakup, you need the special care of a high asset divorce lawyer.