IL divorce lawyerCouples in Illinois who have worked hard to develop notable careers have also often accumulated substantial assets together. When a couple has liquid financial assets that are worth a million dollars or more, a couple can be considered high net worth. Spouses with a net worth of five million dollars are considered very high net worth while having over $30 million in assets earns a couple the distinction of being considered ultra-high net worth.

Whatever the exact value of a high-net-worth couple’s assets, there is no question that divorce becomes substantially more complicated when such a couple decides to separate. This blog discusses some of the unique challenges that these couples face during divorce.

A Longer Divorce Process

Unsurprisingly, larger and more complex financial assets contribute to a longer and more complex asset division process. The division of assets is notorious for being one of the toughest parts of a divorce, and especially when assets are difficult to value or when spouses cannot agree about how an asset should be divided. Inheritance, and the commingling of individually owned inheritance monies, can compound these problems. The same is true of spouses who attempt to hide marital assets.


IL divorce lawyerWhile the marital asset division process in an Illinois divorce is fundamentally the same for everyone, couples or individuals with a high net worth have special considerations. Because high net worth assets are often complex, unique, or otherwise difficult to value, it is important to have the knowledge and assistance of a qualified Illinois divorce attorney and other financial professionals to help you throughout this process.

Are We Considered High Net Worth?

A person or couple’s “net worth” is the value of the assets they own, minus any debts or liabilities. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is a governmental agency with the responsibility of ensuring fair market practices in the United States and the SEC defines a couple as being high net worth if their net worth exceeds one million dollars. A couple must also make over $300,000 a year in combined income.

Couples who have been working for many years may be surprised to find that they fall into the high net worth category, especially because this level of assets and income does not necessarily allow for a lavish lifestyle. Nevertheless, if you meet this threshold for high net worth, treat your divorce accordingly.


IL divorce lawyerOne of the greatest mistakes people make during their Illinois divorce is not planning for life after the divorce is over. Because many spouses are covered under their husband or wife’s employee health insurance, they may forget about dealing with health insurance and find themselves scrambling for coverage.

This is especially true for spouses who have been out of the workforce for many years because they are stay-at-home parents or homemakers. Private health insurance coverage can cost hundreds of dollars a month and divorcees may struggle to find a plan they can afford. Fortunately, Illinois has a law that allows individuals to continue receiving health insurance coverage from their former spouse’s plan following the divorce. Although this option does not last forever, it can be a good option for someone who would otherwise be uninsured.

How Can I Stay on My Spouse’s Insurance Plan?

Someone who wishes to remain on their former spouse’s insurance plan following a divorce must notify the spouse’s employer within 30 days of the final divorce decree. The insurance company will then send the non-employee spouse notification of continued coverage and other appropriate forms.


IL divorce lawyerDivorce is already a complex and emotionally draining process, and this is especially true for someone whose spouse is frivolously spending the couple’s money before the divorce is finalized. Once that money is spent, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to get back.

In order to understand the legal remedies for victims whose spouses are recklessly spending marital money, or “dissipating marital assets”, it is important to understand what counts as dissipation of marital assets. Keep in mind that the best way to obtain a favorable outcome in cases involving dissipation is to hire an experienced divorce attorney.

What Is Dissipation of Marital Assets?

Spending by one spouse is likely to be considered dissipation if the spouse uses marital assets to buy things that:


Wheaton divorce attorneyThe long-term financial effects of divorce can be expensive. If both spouses work, you will need to learn how to survive on just a single income. That one income has to cover utilities, food, and other expenses, as well as fund savings and retirement investments. However, planning ahead can help. If you are considering a divorce, financial advisors suggest taking the following steps so you are on firmer financial ground if and when you decide to file.

Know Your Current Financial Situation

To begin, it is important to know your current financial standing. First, acquire all copies of any bank accounts and investment statements for the past year. You should also make copies of any income tax returns filed for the past several years. Request your credit report so you can see exactly what debts you owe.

Next, consider consulting with an attorney to find out what the bigger picture would look like if you make the decision to end your marriage. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means marital property will be divided fairly between you and your spouse, not necessarily equally. To ensure the equitable distribution of your property, the law requires full disclosure of all assets and obligations.


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