Special Considerations for Divorcing Couples with a High Net Worth
Money problems are a known initiator of countless divorces in the U.S. However, affluence does not prevent a marriage from breaking down. In a divorce case, the complexity of the divorce proceedings is influenced heavily by the spouses’ financial situation. The higher a couple’s net worth, the greater the financial impact of property division, spousal support, and child support determinations. If you are thinking about divorce and you or your spouse have a high income or own high-value assets, it is important to consider how the wealth may impact the divorce.
The Division of Assets and Debts
Most couples reach an out-of-court property division settlement during their divorce. However, before couples can agree on who gets what, the property must be accurately valued and identified. Complex assets like stocks, stock options, business interests, and other assets with fluctuating or difficult-to-calculate values must be analyzed and valued before they can be properly addressed during property division negotiations.
To divide assets in a divorce, assets must be identified as either marital, meaning they belong to both spouses, or non-marital, meaning they belong to only one spouse. Some assets, like retirement accounts, may be partially marital property and partially non-marital property. Furthermore, there may be important tax consequences to the decisions made during the property division process. A divorce attorney experienced in high net worth divorce cases may work alongside appraisers, accountants, tax professionals, and other financial experts during property division.
Spousal Maintenance May be a Factor in Your Divorce
Alimony, or spousal maintenance issues are common in divorce cases involving high-income individuals – especially if there is a substantial discrepancy in the spouses’ financial circumstances. If there is not already a prenuptial agreement or other valid agreement describing the spouses’ maintenance obligations and rights, the lesser-earning spouse may petition the court for maintenance during the divorce. The court will consider each spouse’s income, assets, employability, health, and several other factors to determine if maintenance is appropriate. The amount and duration of maintenance payments is typically based on a statutory formula, however, the court often deviates from this formula if spouses make upwards of $500,000 a year.
Contact a DuPage County High-Income Divorce Lawyer
High net worth divorce often involves unique obstacles. At MKFM Law, we understand how to overcome these obstacles and help spouses resolve their divorce so that they can move on with the rest of their lives. Call our skilled Wheaton divorce attorneys at 630-665-7300 for a confidential consultation.