What are the most common complex financial issues in divorce?
If you have a high net-worth or substantial wealth, there will be numerous things evaluated to determine how assets will be distributed.
- Bank Accounts – Most married couples commingle their funds into a few different bank accounts. Be prepared to show the latest statements, and potentially even old ones, so these can be factored into the financial analysis.
- Business Holdings – Whether you have a small family business or own a large corporation, a valuation of the business will need to be done to determine what it is worth. Then, you can consider a variety of options, such as buying out your spouse or selling the business.
- Complex Compensation (stock options and the like)
- Debt – Mortgages, auto loans, credit card debt, student loans, and any other debt you may have also need to be divided in an Illinois divorce.
- Investments – you must consider the value of stocks, bonds, and other investments as well as the tax implications of their division.
- Dissipation – At times a person may conceal marital assets from their spouse or use marital assets to dissipate funds during a divorce. If you believe that might be happening, further investigation may need to be done to determine the extent and better protect your financial future.
- Real Estate – Property is one of the most common financial issues in divorce. Your marital home, vacation home, rental properties, or other real estate also needs to have a valuation, so you can determine how to divide those during the divorce process.
- Retirement Funds – Any assets including IRA’s, 401(k)s, and pension plans can also be divided. There are numerous legal restrictions and tax implications that must be taken into consideration.
How is asset distribution determined?
For all financial issues in divorce, Illinois divorce law follows the principles of equitable distribution. That means that each spouse will receive a fair and just portion of the property (fair is not necessarily an equal portion). The factors that are taken into consideration when determining what is fair and just are:
- How long the couple was married
- The employability, health, age, education, and earning potential of each spouse
- Tax consequences related to property distribution
- Contributions of either spouse as a homemaker or caretaker
- The value of the property assigned to each spouse
- Provisions for any children in the marriage
- Any other relevant economic circumstances for either spouse
- Whether or not either spouse has dissipated any asset
I will take time to listen to your story and learn about your goals, so we can make smart financial decisions that redefine your financial future.
When participating in a Collaborative Divorce or Mediation, an important person involved is the financial neutral: a financial professional with at least a CPA designation and often a CVA or ABV as well. Along with your attorneys, this impartial expert will allow you to discuss your financial goals and any concerns you may have. They will provide a thorough financial evaluation taking into account the principles of equitable distribution as well as your objectives.
In a traditional divorce, the financial divisions are where negotiations can break down. This leads to litigation and a more costly endeavor. Through a collaborative process or mediation, your team is working to ensure that realistic and creative solutions are offered and that altercations over financial issues in divorce are avoided.
Your Collaborative Divorce or Mediation team will help you discuss your financial goals and any concerns you may have.
With over 20 years of experience in Family Law, I have helped numerous clients with their complex financial issues in divorce. I will take time to listen to your story and learn about your goals, so we can make smart financial decisions that redefine your financial future. Contact me to discuss your financial issues in divorce and how we can work within the Collaborative process to ensure you are financially secure.
financial issues in divorce