Divorces that involve more than a million dollars in assets are often referred to as high asset or high net worth divorces.
Dismantling a high asset marriage is like dismantling a Fortune 500 company: It tends to be complex and expensive and can take a long time.
Expenses in high-asset divorces
The complexities of discovering, appraising, and equitably dividing assets — real and personal property, business interests, investments, bank accounts, retirement benefits, trusts, intellectual property, and offshore and other international assets — require the services of legal and financial professionals.
High asset divorce is often complicated by the need to determine the future value of investments and tax considerations. Some assets, such as art collections, may be difficult to value and require expensive, time-consuming expert testimonies. A forensic accountant will need to investigate in cases where asset concealment is a possibility.
Equitable division in high-asset divorces
Illinois divorce law strives for equitable division of assets. It divides property into categories of marital and non-marital (separate).
Equitable division can become complicated if the two categories commingle — for instance, a divorcing couple built a jointly owned business using non-marital assets. If one spouse supported the other through medical school, what constitutes a fair division of assets?
Divorce involves more than division of property, child custody, and spousal support. The divorce agreement can also have long-term tax effects and will influence finances for both parties going forward.
After taking stock of their assets, divorcing couples often find that their most advantageous action is to reach agreement on asset valuation and move forward with a fair divorce settlement.