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What should you expect from a high-asset divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Family Law

You may have accumulated considerable wealth if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have high-earning positions at work or have been married for many years. Your divorce will be a high-asset divorce, and it may come with challenges that are usually not present in a typical divorce case.

What is a high-asset divorce?

A high-asset divorce involves spouses with more than a million dollars in liquid assets. Income alone is not the basis for defining this type of divorce. It is based on the value of assets involved in the marriage. It may include all assets owned by either spouse. Assets or property that determine if the divorce is high net worth may include timeshares, inheritances, real estate, businesses (family and closely-held businesses), bonuses and pension and retirement plans. Other big-ticket items like art, antiques and vehicles may also determine a divorce’s worth.

What should you expect from it?

The main challenge in high-asset divorces is usually deciding who gets what. Another main concern is whether to pay spousal support. The process may require mediation and litigation. Some people might even try to hide assets when the stakes are high. When they do, it makes the process a lot more complicated.

Below are what you may expect from a high-asset divorce:

  • Spousal and child support may be high

Illinois law requires child support payment according to how much each person earns. This applies to a high-asset divorce. If your income was high during your marriage, you will need to pay a more significant amount of support. If the other party did not work outside the home or their earnings are less than yours, you will likely have to pay spousal support.

  • You might need a forensic accountant

A forensic accountant investigates data and will study all your financial documents. They will study the itemized deduction the other party presents to create an accurate financial picture.

  • You may need documentation for inherited assets

Separating marital assets from inheritances can be challenging. This step is crucial, as inherited assets are usually not part of what the two parties will divide. Documentation about your inheritances can help speed things along.

A high-asset divorce may be challenging, but an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and navigate through the process.