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How surgeons can protect their assets in case of a divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Divorce |

Surgeons in Illinois face the potential risk of asset division during divorce proceedings. Of course, protecting their hard-earned assets is a priority for many of these professionals.

There are several strategies they can use to safeguard their financial interests.

Marital property laws

In Illinois, marital property is typically subject to equitable distribution in divorce proceedings. This means that assets acquired during the marriage generally undergo fair division. This division is not necessarily 50/50.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

Illinois surgeons earn an annual mean wage of $319,710. Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements can help surgeons protect their assets. These legal documents outline the division of assets in the event of divorce. They offer clarity and protection for both parties.

Asset protection trusts

Another option is asset protection trusts. These trusts can shield assets from potential creditors, including a divorcing spouse, by placing them under the control of a trustee.

Retirement accounts and investments

Surgeons should consider the impact of divorce on retirement accounts and investments. Qualified domestic relations orders may be necessary to divide retirement benefits, such as 401(k) accounts and pensions, without incurring tax penalties.

Separate property

Surgeons can maintain assets as separate property by keeping them in their name only and avoiding commingling with marital funds. This includes assets acquired before marriage, inheritances, gifts and personal injury awards. These assets may be exempt from division in divorce proceedings.

Documentation and financial transparency

Thorough documentation of financial transactions and assets can strengthen a surgeon’s position in divorce negotiations. Complete financial transparency demonstrates honesty. It may help prevent disputes over asset ownership.

With these approaches, surgeons can position themselves to better navigate asset division in case of a divorce.