Illinois divorce for high net worth individuals
Divorce is a difficult and stressful process for anyone, but it can be especially complex and challenging for high net worth individuals. Illinois law regarding divorce can be complicated and nuanced, and it's important for those with significant assets to understand their rights and obligations before proceeding with a divorce.
In Illinois, divorce cases are handled in the Circuit Court, and they are governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act
(IMDMA). The IMDMA sets out the rules for divorce in the state and governs issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody.
One of the first steps in a divorce case is determining which assets and liabilities are considered marital property and which are considered non-marital property. Marital property is defined as property acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of which spouse holds title to it. Non-marital property is defined as property acquired before the marriage or by gift or inheritance, or property that has been kept separate from the marital property.
In Illinois, marital property is divided equitably between the spouses, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it will be divided 50/50. The court takes into account a number of factors when determining the division of property, including the duration of the marriage, the income and earning capacity of each spouse, the age and health of each spouse, and any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements.
For high net worth individuals, the process of dividing assets can be particularly complicated, as they often have a significant amount of assets and complex financial portfolios. In such cases, it may be necessary to hire experts, such as forensic accountants and business valuators, to help identify and value assets and liabilities. Additionally, courts have discretion to order the sale of certain assets (such as a business, real estate, or investment portfolio) and the distribution of the proceeds to the parties.
In addition to property division, the IMDMA also deals with the issue of spousal support, also known as maintenance (formerly known as alimony). In Illinois, the courts have discretion to award maintenance in an amount and for a duration that it considers appropriate under the circumstances. The courts are guided by several factors when determining alimony such as, the length of the marriage, each party's income and earning capacity, the standard of living during the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, and the custodial arrangements for the children. High net worth individuals may be required to pay significant amounts of maintenance to their spouse after the divorce.
Lastly, the court also consider the best interests of the children, when determining the custodial arrangements and visitation schedule for the children. While high net worth individuals may have the financial resources to provide for the children, the court will consider the children's emotional, physical, and mental well-being when making a custody and visitation decision.
In conclusion, divorce can be a complex and challenging process for high net worth individuals, but understanding Illinois divorce law can help them navigate the process more effectively. If you're considering a divorce in Illinois and have significant assets, it's important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you through the legal process and protect your rights. Additionally, hiring expert such as forensic accountant, business valuator, and counselors may help in the proceedings to ensure that all assets and liabilities are identified and evaluated properly for the final judgement.