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The Complications of High-Asset Divorce

By Nottage and Ward on June 28, 2021

Divorce is never an easy process. There is property to split, emotions run high, and things can quickly become tense. However, there are few divorces as difficult to undergo than a high-asset divorce. With more assets to look over and split come more financial documents and complicated legal wrangling. Paperwork can quickly stack up, leaving you with mountains to deal with. But why is high-asset divorce so difficult, and how can you make it easier to deal with?

What Is a High-Asset Divorce?

A high-asset divorce is a divorce in which the couple had a high net worth, a great deal of real estate, and expensive assets. Usually, any divorce that involves more than $1 million is considered “high asset.” If you and your soon-to-be ex have over $1 million in the bank or in land, then you will have to deal with the realities and hardships that come with high-asset divorces, even if the divorce is amicable.

When High-Asset Divorces Become Difficult

In Illinois, family law courts follow the rule of “equitable divorce.” This means that the courts will want to properly and thoroughly review the property owned by the couple in order to determine what split would be most equitable or “fair” for both parties. This is why high-asset divorces in Illinois can be so complicated. The court has a vested interest in making sure every piece of property is split as equitably as possible, which means every piece of property must be reviewed before the divorce can proceed.

If you and your ex have a great deal of money, multiple houses, luxury goods, such as cars, businesses, and investment portfolios, then the court will launch a thorough investigation into each and every asset. This investigation will lead to the court making a decision about how the assets should be split, and who gets what will depend on different criteria, such as:

  • Each spouse’s level of contribution
  • Whether either spouse tries to hide any assets from the court
  • How long the couple was married
  • Whether child support payments will be involved
  • Each spouse’s tax obligations
  • Each spouse’s projected earnings after the divorce
  • The actual value of each asset

It is always best to be open and honest with the judge. Any hidden assets are likely to be found, and the court does not look kindly on people who try to trick it. If the hidden assets are found, it will likely result in the judge ruling against you and giving more to your former spouse than he would have if you had been honest.

You should also keep in mind that this investigation will not be quick, nor will it be surface level. The court will do a deep dive into every asset that it can find and use the above criteria to determine how things should be split. The courts in Illinois are interested in being equitable first and doing what you or your former spouse want second.

Talking with an Attorney

Considering how difficult a high-asset divorce can be, you may be wondering what steps or tips you can take in order to get through the ordeal with as favorable an outcome as possible. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is work with an experienced attorney. Your attorney can walk you through the process, explain what will happen next and what documentation the court will need to see from you. They can also help you work toward the outcome you want most and find ways to work with the judge in order to make your goals happen.

You shouldn’t work with just any lawyer, however. You need to work with a top Chicago divorce firm that can provide you with some of the best legal support in Illinois. That is why you should call Nottage and Ward, LLP, at (312) 332-2915 today. We have the skill, experience, and compassion to get you through your high-asset divorce as cleanly and quickly as possible.

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