High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer Chicago, IL
An Illinois divorce can be a bitter and painful process, but a high net worth divorce lawyer in Chicago, IL, can help you through the whole complicated (and often frustrating) ordeal. Part of what makes divorce so painful is knowing that it’s coming, like watching a marriage collapse in slow motion. However, a divorce is even harder if it comes as a complete surprise: You’ll suddenly find yourself scrambling for any legal team that can help you on such short notice, and the longer you wait to get help, the more you’ll risk losing everything.
For this reason alone, it pays to be aware and to be realistic about a potential divorce. Many people willingly ignore the warning signs that could indicate an imminent divorce, but knowing what to look for is a strong way to be proactive and prepared. There are many widely-accepted warning signs of divorce: if you or your partner feel contempt – or even disgust – towards each other, it’s an unfortunate sign that your marriage is in danger of failing. You should also take note if you and your spouse are stonewalling each other: sometimes avoiding each other and shutting down any type of communication is more harmful to a relationship than constantly fighting.
Divorce: The Last Resort
Even if the warning signs are all there, it doesn’t mean you’re headed straight for a divorce. If you know what to look for in a marriage headed for divorce, you should also know that there are ways to salvage what you have with your partner. There are options available for couples going through difficult times, including counseling, opening up to each other, or even spending some time apart from each other to think things through. A divorce should be a last resort, and before either of you decide that a divorce is the best path forward, you should be aware of the sacrifices and risks associated with a divorce.
Once you both fully understand what’s on the line, you’ll have a better idea of whether a divorce is right for you. Assets will inevitably be divided between you and your spouse, and depending on how prepared you are, this split can be very unequal. You may lose homes and possessions, and you may be on the hook for spousal and child support. A divorce doesn’t mean you’ll be done dealing with your spouse – oftentimes, it’s quite the opposite. Fortunately, a high net worth divorce lawyer in Chicago, IL, can help you through what comes next.
The Right Team for a Painful Situation
A divorce is never an ideal situation, but you don’t have to lose everything. While many of your assets may be in danger, and emotions can run high through divorce proceedings, being prepared and having the right legal team on your side is the first step towards protecting your possessions. At Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC, we understand how difficult a divorce can be. We are dedicated to each and every one of our clients to ensure they have all the information they need as they navigate their way through the long, complicated, and frustrating legal proceedings surrounding their divorce.
If you’ve noticed the warning signs of an impending divorce, and you’re certain that you and your spouse can’t save your marriage, get in touch with a high net worth divorce lawyer in Chicago, IL that you can trust, and contact Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC today.
When an Illinois couple is going through a high asset divorce, one of the more complex areas of litigation has to do with the division of assets. Unless the couple has a prenuptial agreement they signed before they were married that clearly spells out what type of divorce settlement they will have, they will need to negotiate one they can both agree on. If they fail to come to an agreement, then the divorce judge overseeing their case will make that decision for them. If you are going through a divorce, having a Chicago, IL high net worth divorce lawyer advocating for you is critical to ensuring your best interests are protected.
What Is Marital Property?
Illinois law defines “marital property” as “all property, including debts and other obligations, acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage, except” for non-marital property. Thus, the key to understanding what constitutes marital property is understanding what constitutes non-marital property.
The following is considered non-marital property under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act:
- Property acquired by gift or inheritance
- Property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage
- Property acquired after a judgment of legal separation
- Any property excluded by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
- Any judgment or property obtained by judgment awarded to a spouse from the other spouse (with some exceptions)
- Most property acquired before the marriage and all property acquired using nonmarital property
- The increase in value of nonmarital property
A high net worth divorce lawyer in Chicago IL can also explain that property acquired after the marriage and before a judgment of dissolution of marriage is presumed marital property.
Equitable Division of Marital Property
Illinois is an equitable division state, which means that marital property is divided fairly rather than equally. In other words, the property is not split 50-50, unless that happens to be the most equitable division. Factors that courts consider in dividing marital property include:
- The duration of the marriage
- Each spouse’s role in the acquisition of marital property and in changes to its value
- The age, health, and needs of each spouse
- Any child custody arrangement
- Whether either spouse has existing obligations from a prior marriage
There are cases where one spouse will attempt to hide assets from the other spouse in order to avoid having those assets become part of the marital estate and part of the divorce negotiations. In these situations, your attorney can hire a forensic accountant who specializes in uncovering this type of fraud. Not only do the courts look unfavorably in this type of behavior, but there are instances where the court will take all those hidden assets and award them to the other spouse.
Will Filing for Divorce First Make a Difference?
Filing for divorce is often a difficult decision, even for a separated couple that knows that their marriage is over. However, when it is clear that a divorce is imminent, some spouses rush to file for the divorce in order to beat their ex to it. Legally speaking, filing first does not make that much of a difference in an Illinois divorce, however, there may be some issues where it could be beneficial. A high-net-worth divorce lawyer in Chicago, IL can evaluate your situation and offer the best legal options available.
Parties can pursue a no-fault divorce in Illinois, and no particular wrongdoing has to be alleged against a spouse in order for the other spouse to be granted a divorce. Therefore, even though filing first allows a person to present their case first in court, it does not guarantee victory on the merits.
Filing first may give you an advantage when it comes to choosing where the case will be heard. If you file first and live in a different county or city from your spouse, you can file for the divorce at a location that is most convenient for you, assuming you meet the residency requirements for a divorce in Illinois.
A Chicago, IL high net worth divorce lawyer knows that Illinois judges are required to divide marital assets, and award alimony and child support in accordance with established statutory guidelines as well as case law. Therefore, regardless of which party files for divorce first, the main issues in the case will be decided on these principles, and not by who won the race to the courthouse.
When filing for emergency orders that may be part of the reason the couple is getting divorced, for example, emergency orders of protection in cases of domestic violence, or emergency orders seeking child custody and support, then it could make a difference which parent files first. Filing first could make a difference because it may mean getting immediate relief if the other parent is abusive or likely to take the children and disappear. However, if the other parent has notice of the proceeding, they could file a counter-petition asking for custody as well.
There may be psychological and emotional victories in filing for divorce first. Filing first could be an expression of independence and a sign to your ex that you have moved on. If you file first, you can also decide what time is best for you to deal with some of the stress that may come with going through a divorce. If you choose to file for divorce first, you need to be prepared in case your spouse does not make the move well and decides to take it out on you by refusing to be reasonable throughout the process. Having a Chicago, IL high net worth divorce lawyer aggressively advocating for you will make sure that your best interests are protected.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
The legal team at Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC can guide you through the divorce process and help you secure an equitable division of marital property. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Chicago, IL high net worth divorce lawyer.
A divorce is a painful process, but you can turn to a high net worth divorce lawyer in Chicago, Illinois before you’re overwhelmed. At Hurst, Robin & Kay, we understand that a divorce is a stressful and usually unpredictable part of your life. Fortunately, there are some warning signs for you to look out for if you suspect your marriage is heading for trouble.
Know the Warning Signs of Divorce
- Stonewalling: Arguments are a natural part of every relationship. It’s common for couples to have disagreements about pretty much everything, and it can get tiresome. However, it’s a red flag if the disagreements suddenly stop because neither of you is communicating with each other. A lack of communication is worse than disagreement, and can hint at something much more sinister beneath the surface.
- Constant criticism: On the opposite side of the spectrum, there is a definite point in which constant criticism becomes a red flag as well. If the only communication between you and your spouse is nitpicking and criticizing, it indicates a lack of respect that can turn into a major problem down the line. It’s one thing for a couple to bicker here and there – and we’ve all seen that cute old couple that does exactly that – but if criticism never stops and starts to impact someone’s mental health, it could push them towards a breaking point.
- Considering an affair: People in healthy relationships need physical attention and contact. If you or your spouse have been considering an affair, it may be time to get to the root issue: A lack of intimacy is a serious sign of a relationship on the rocks. There are certain moments in anyone’s relationship when you or your spouse just aren’t “in the mood”, but if intimacy is totally lacking in your marriage, it could mean trouble on the horizon – and it could mean you need to contact a high net worth divorce lawyer in Chicago, IL.
- Disgust: Contempt or disgust with your spouse is one of the worst signs of a failing marriage. If you develop feelings of disgust with another person in your life, it’s very difficult to come back to a positive mental space. Contempt goes both ways in a relationship, and if you feel it’s becoming an obstacle in your marriage, you might want to lawyer up and prepare for the worst.
If you’re in a high net worth divorce, you’ll want only the best high net worth divorce lawyer Chicago IL has to offer. Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC provides you with that lawyer. You may ask “What is a high net worth divorce lawyer and why do I need one?” Naturally, anyone with a lot of money has a lot to lose. The last thing you want is to lose all or most of your assets and what you’ve worked so hard to maintain. Unfortunately, the reality is that divorce proceedings can bleed the wealthy dry. Your soon-to-be ex spouse may become greedy and go after all that you’ve acquired. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re paying more than what you have to, to your ex.
The formula divorce courts follow for deciding the spousal support amount is simple. Once the judge determines who will pay alimony to who, this financial support is 33% of the payer’s net income (i.e., what you make in a year after taxes) minus 25% of the recipient’s net income. This number produces the yearly amount you’ll pay. You can divide that number by 12 (months) to ascertain how much you’ll pay each month, should the court decide you’ll be the paying ex spouse. Of course, this formula only speaks to the basics. The amount you pay can increase based on other factors, such as:
- Whether your soon-to-be ex spouse makes any income
- Whether your soon-to-be ex spouse has a medical condition (that she or he cannot pay without your assistance)
- Whether your soon-to-be ex spouse has other special needs
The length of your marriage before you two separate also plays a role. Did you know that the timeline of your marriage corresponds with how long Illinois divorce law obligates you to pay alimony? For example, if your marriage lasted for less than five years, the duration of how long you’ll pay spousal support is 20% of that length, and so on. However, if you were married for 20 or more years, a judge can order you to pay alimony until your ex dies, even if s/he remarries. The only stipulation is that whatever you pay in alimony can’t be more than 40% of your and your ex’s combined income.
Bear in mind, spousal support is separate from assets that you two may have to divide, such as your home(s), cars, jewelry, stocks, bonds, etc.
What Is A Postnuptial Agreement?
A postnuptial agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your spouse that describes how a judge should distribute assets and funds should you two divorce. Unless stated otherwise, a postnup supersedes Illinois standard guidelines regarding money and property, such as our state’s marital property laws. As its name suggests, a postnup happens after you and your spouse have exchanged vows, not before. If you’re worried that a divorce is in the future, it’s not too late to seek mediation, lawyerly advice, or form a postnuptial agreement. Not only can this piece of paper reduce the likelihood of your divorce and help you two work out the kinks of your marriage, it will offer you two a piece of mind. In the case where you have ample assets to lose, this is a logical way to secure what’s yours. Yet, you don’t want your potential ex claiming that s/he signed the postnup under duress, fraud, coercion, or undue influence, so it’s best to consult with one of our high net worth divorce lawyers in Chicago IL before you proceed.
Contact Hurst, Robin & Kay Today
Divorces happen all the time, but it’s never an issue that people can fully predict. For many, divorce seems to come completely out of the blue, and it turns their life inside-out. However, if you recognize any of the major warning signs of a troubled or failing marriage, you still have time to save your assets and your dignity by contacting a qualified divorce lawyer.
Expecting a divorce puts you in a completely different space than if a divorce takes you completely by surprise. If you suspect your spouse is ready to pull the plug on your marriage, reach out to a high net worth divorce lawyer that Chicago, IL trusts, and see how Hurst, Robin & Kay can help.
High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer Chicago, IL
No matter the type of divorce there is often a toll on each party and that is why contacting a high net worth divorce lawyer in Chicago, IL is often in your best interest. When a divorcing couple has a large amount of property, income, and assets the toll on each party’s emotions and finances is often greater than in a typical divorce.
Because high net worth divorces involve a substantial amount of assets they are naturally far more complicated. Without a plan in place their costume mistakes that could easily occur.
What Mistakes Should You Avoid During Your Divorce?
In order to protect your rights and property and your high net worth divorce here are some things that you should avoid doing in order to have the most favorable outcome for you.
Don’t Make Emotionally Charged Decisions
When your emotions run high is entirely too common to make rash decisions without considering the long-term implications first. This could easily lead to you ending up agreeing to give more property than you deserve which can end in the long-term financial distress if you were to make a choice emotionally. While you might think your choice will make your life easier in the moment it can often lead to a more time-consuming and emotionally draining fight in the future.
These types of divorces can quickly get heated so you should not lash out at your ex or punish them for the pain they have caused you. Think of this like it was a professional setting. When you are handling business matters you want to be calm, informed, and have a plan in place. Treat your divorce like this.
Don’t Incorrectly Identify Assets
In any divorce, assets must be characterized as separate or community property. For high-asset couples, this process can become slightly more complicated. For example, a business owner might have owned the business prior to the marriage making it separate property. However, during the course of the marriage community property was used to increase the value of the business. This would mean that it is now co-mingled with community property in this lengthy subject to division in divorce.
It can be difficult to know if an asset is to be considered community or separate and that is why having an experienced lawyer is necessary. If you don’t correctly categorize an asset it can lead to unfair settlement of the property.
Don’t Hide Assets
One of the biggest mistakes that people can make in any divorce is hiding assets. It can be tempting to hide assets that you don’t think the other party deserves but it can easily backfire on you because this is considered fraud. The property is divided in a divorce and every asset must be disclosed. If it is discovered that you have hidden assets that you could be held in contempt of court or found guilty of perjury due to your attempt to conceal these assets.
This could mean you lose all credibility with the court and the judge may then decide toward more assets to your spouse then to you. It is crucial to be transparent about your assets even if you think the other party doesn’t deserve them.
If you have any more questions about what a high net worth divorce lawyer in Chicago, IL can do for you don’t hesitate to reach out today.