How Does Wealth Impact an Illinois Divorce Case?
Many people assume that having money makes everything easier. However, owning high-value assets can actually make your divorce case much more complicated. If you or your spouse have a high income or own substantial assets, you must understand how this wealth will impact your divorce case. The division of property and debts, child support, spousal support, and other divorce issues are largely determined by the parties’ financial circumstances. Consequently, it is important for high-net-worth spouses to work with a divorce lawyer familiar with the types of challenges commonly encountered in high net worth divorce cases.
You Will Need to Properly Value Assets
In Illinois, both spouses are entitled to a portion of property held by the marital estate. However, before spouses can negotiate a property division settlement, they must value the property. Determining the value of property like stocks, stock options, investments, digital currency, real estate, business interests, and professional practices is complex and typically requires input from a professional appraiser.
The Consequences of Hiding Assets Are Greater
The greater degree of wealth a spouse owns, the greater the opportunity for financial deception. Often, the consequences of financial deception are also magnified in a high net worth divorce. Spouses may underreport income or business revenue, hide funds in overseas accounts, or fail to disclose hidden financial resources. If you suspect that your spouse will lie about finances during your divorce, you should work with a seasoned divorce lawyer.
Child Support Calculations May Deviate from the Norm
Illinois usually uses a child support calculation model called the Income Shares model to determine child support. However, this calculation method may be inappropriate for couples with an income that is much higher than average. This means that the amount you or your spouse pay in child support may be customized to your particular situation. Courts will consider your financial circumstances, employability, parenting time, child-related expenses such as tuition, and other factors when determining a reasonable child support order.
Spousal Maintenance May Be an Important Factor
Many divorce cases do not involve a spousal maintenance order. However, spousal maintenance, or alimony, is more common in high net worth divorce cases. If you do not already have a valid marital agreement determining spousal maintenance, Courts will consider your standard of living, marriage duration, income, and other factors to decide if maintenance is appropriate. The amount of maintenance a spouse receives is typically based on statutory formula. As with child support, however, the Court may deviate from the maintenance calculation formula when a couple has a very high income.
Contact an Arlington Heights Divorce Lawyer
For dependable legal support and guidance during your divorce case, contact skilled Rolling Meadows divorce lawyer Nicholas W. Richardson. Call the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. at 847.873.6741 for a free, confidential consultation.