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Chicago Divorce Attorney for Lawyers

Representing Lawyers in Chicago Divorce Cases

The practice of law can be all consuming. Between the quest for billable hours and the desire to be always available to your clients, it can be difficult to carve out time to maintain a healthy marriage. When a marriage ends in divorce, it can be difficult for busy lawyers to go through the proceedings. Call on our experienced Chicago divorce attorneys to make the process run smoother and to help you reach a successful divorce settlement.

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What Spousal Support Issues Can Occur With Attorney Divorces?

Alimony or spousal support can be a matter of contention in divorces involving lawyers. When one or both spouses are practicing law, it can be challenging to determine the income and financial resources of each party for spousal maintenance purposes. For example:

  • If you or your spouse is a partner in a law firm, what is the value of his or her interest in the business? Is it divisible from the rest of the firm? Is the type of practice a factor?
  • How is income calculated for a solo practitioner with a caseload that varies, or whose clients pay recurring fees over time?
  • If there is substantial student loan debt, is it divided among the spouses or assigned as separate debt to the spouse who received the education?
  • How does it affect spousal support if one spouse worked to support the other through law school?

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How Can Child Custody/Parenting Issues Be Exacerbated?

Attorneys tend not to work regular nine to five schedules. During a major trial, for example, lawyers may burn the midnight oil preparing for the case. Long or inconsistent work hours can complicate child custody and visitation in a divorce. The career obligations of both parents play a significant role in determining allocation of parental responsibilities. When children are involved in a divorce, a busy lawyer needs a seasoned divorce attorney to fight for his or her parental rights and as much time with the children as possible.

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How Do Business Valuations Work When Lawyers Divorce?

If you have a law practice, it will likely be included in the marital assets for purposes of your divorce. In an Illinois divorce, each spouse has a right to an equitable (not necessarily equal) share of the marital property. A business that was acquired or established during the marriage, or an increase in value during the marriage of a business that existed before the marriage, is generally considered part of the marital estate. For this reason, it is essential to have a business valuation of your law practice. Under state law, the value of business assets is determined at fair market value.

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What Happens to Your Law Practice in a Divorce?

If your legal practice is considered a marital asset for purposes of your divorce, there may be several possible options for division of the property:

  • Cash buyout of your spouse for his or her share of the value of your practice
  • Retaining full ownership of your law practice in exchange for another marital asset, such as the family home
  • Sale of the practice or business interest to a third party, with the spouses splitting the proceeds of the sale
  • Continued co-ownership of the practice

Our Chicago divorce and family law attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP, can provide rational answers to emotional decisions. For more than three decades, we have focused our practice on divorce and family law in Chicago, and we are skilled in negotiating, litigating, and resolving complex financial and custody issues. If you are a practicing attorney going through a divorce, contact us at (312) 332-2915 for guidance through every phase, from pretrial strategy to settlement or litigation.

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Client Reviews

Five Stars5 Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for

Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.

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Avvo Top Contributor Family Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer
Avvo Top Contributor Divorce Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer