Divorces can be complicated, even if both spouses agree on many of the issues that must be addressed. In some cases, the marital estate may include significant assets, or spouses may earn large incomes. In these complex divorce cases, couples may need to address high-value assets or property, business valuation, spousal maintenance, and more. The division of property can have a long-term impact on one or both spouses, so this area needs to be addressed carefully. If you are entering the divorce process, it is important to understand your rights and the near-term and long-term impact of the decisions you make.
The marital estate includes any property that was obtained during the course of your marriage. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property will be divided equitably, but not necessarily equally. In some cases, litigation in court may be necessary to resolve disputes over the division of assets; however, it is often more beneficial if spouses can work together to reach an agreement on these issues outside of court.
High-value assets often include many different types of monetary funds or possessions, such as the following:
Investments, including stocks and bonds
Checking or savings accounts
Retirement plans may include 401(k)s, IRAs, or pension benefits. The amount contributed or earned by the retirement plan during the marriage is considered a marital asset and thus must be divided between spouses. In Illinois, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is typically used to divide retirement accounts between divorcing spouses, and this allows funds to be withdrawn or transferred while avoiding the need to pay penalties or taxes. However, a QDRO is not needed for IRAs, and retirement plans governed by the Illinois Pension Code require a Qualified Illinois Domestic Relations Order (QILDRO).
If a couple owns a business together, this can further complicate matters. Determining the value of the business is essential to ensure a fair distribution of assets. In order to protect family businesses and professional practices, it is important to consider the options for dividing business assets while keeping a business intact. Spouses should also be aware of the tax consequences involved in dividing these assets to ensure that they are prepared for financial success after the divorce has been completed.
Another issue that can arise in a complex divorce case is the possibility that a spouse is attempting to hide assets to avoid dividing them with their former partner. The penalties for hiding assets during divorce can range from a settlement that awards a much greater amount of the marital assets to the other spouse to the offending spouse being held in contempt of court and facing criminal charges for fraud or perjury.
Contact a DuPage County Complex Divorce Attorney
Divorce proceedings can be complicated for any couple. However, the divorce process is likely to be even more complex when a lot of different types of assets are involved, especially those with a high value. At the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, our attorneys are experienced in negotiating and resolving many different types of divorces disputes, including those involving marital property. Regardless of your individual situation, we can help you reach a fair settlement and ensure that your financial interests are protected. To schedule a free consultation, call a knowledgeable Wheaton high asset divorce lawyer today at 630-871-1002.