June 25,2021

Divorce, High Net Worth Divorce, Property Division

Goodman Law Firm

Understanding How Assets Are Divided in a High Asset Divorce

HomeBlogDivorceHigh Net Worth DivorceUnderstanding How Assets Are Divided in a High Asset Divorce

Asset division can often be one of the most complicated matters to settle in divorce. When a couple has high net worth assets to divide, it’s even more complex. The stakes are higher, and tensions rise. While divorcing couples have the option and are encouraged to divide assets independently of the court, it’s not always possible. Especially in high-asset divorces, the spouses require the court’s expertise and careful decisions to determine how to divide the assets best. If you are dealing with a high net-worth divorce, it’s critical to have an experienced Illinois high asset divorce attorney on your side.

What is Marital Property?

Marital property is the only type of property that is subject to division in an Illinois divorce. Typically, any assets acquired during the time the couple was married are categorized as marital property. Separate property is the assets that each individual spouse had before the marriage occurred and any specific gifts and inheritances. Although these definitions might seem straightforward, determining what property falls into what category can become complicated quickly. During a marriage, separate and marital property can become co-mingled, making it hard to untangle the financial web. 

High Asset Property Division

While marital and separate property concepts still apply in high net-worth divorces, determining their value and identifying all assets can add to the challenge. High asset divorces typically involve extra attention to detail and planning.

Asset Identification, Valuation, and Division

At the beginning of the divorce process, the couple will need to identify and value all marital and non-marital property. Ensuring that all assets are considered and correctly determining their value often requires the assistance of a skilled Illinois high asset divorce lawyer and professional financial advisors. Their expertise is vital when spouses own multiple real estate properties (such as vacation homes or time-shares), expensive artwork antiques, or jewelry, and substantial, complex investments. 

Spouses should also be aware that their partner could be attempting to hide assets. An attorney can help them watch for these signs and take action if their spouse is concealing assets.

Business Valuation

The spouses must define their ownership interest in any family-owned businesses. Then, the need to decide whether the business assets should be divided in the divorce, assigned to one spouse or the other, or liquidated. If the couple owns a business together, they can generally agree to one of the following:

  • Keep the business jointly held
  • One spouse buys out the other spouse’s portion of the business
  • Sell the business and divide the proceeds equitably

Retirement Accounts

It’s imperative to calculate the marital portion of retirement funds and pensions. Dividing them can be challenging. A skilled Illinois high asset divorce attorney can direct a fair division of the retirement accounts, generally through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

At the Goodman Law Firm, we know how complicated and frustrating high asset divorces can be and how much is at stake. There isn’t room for mistakes with property division in any divorce, especially those with high assets. 

We can help you find an appropriate solution to property division disagreements through negotiation, mediation, collaborative law, or if it becomes necessary, litigation in family court. Contact us today to schedule a confidential high asset divorce consultation and learn more about the services we offer.


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