February 1, 2021

High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer Chicago, IL

High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer Chicago, ILHigh 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: A 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 nonmarital property. Thus, the key to understanding what constitutes marital property is understanding what constitutes nonmarital property.

The following is considered nonmarital 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

Hidden Assets

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.

Jurisdiction

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.

Emergency Orders

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 take 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.