Navigating a High Net Worth Divorce

  • Post category:Divorce Tips
  • Reading time:6 mins read

When a couple decides to end their marriage, it can be a difficult process. Navigating a high net worth divorce adds additional complexity because of the financial determinations that must be made. Divorce attorney, Maria Citino, is adept at complex financial issues such as, business valuation, disposition of real estate, valuation and division of retirement assets, international property disputes, family farms and agricultural assets, and tracing of non-marital assets. Contact us today for a consultation at (312) 248–3849.

A high net worth divorce is when one or both spouses have significant assets. In Illinois, if you or your spouse have over $1 million in assets or $500,000 or more per year in income, you qualify as a high net worth divorce. 

High Net Worth Divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino
High Net Worth Divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino

Typical issues in a high net worth divorce

High net worth estates typically involve complex financial circumstances. Dividing these estates in a divorce requires properly valuing the estate and characterizing assets as marital or non-marital property. Some common aspects of a high net worth divorce include: 

  • Business valuations
  • Real estate valuations
  • High-value asset appraisals
  • Asset protection
  • Uncovering hidden assets and undisclosed asset transfers
  • Enforcing and challenging prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Managing tax considerations

You do not want to sacrifice all that you have worked for. Whether you have multiple properties, timeshares, out of state or international assets, shared businesses, or other investments on the line, your divorce should never wipe out what you have spent years building. You want to make sure your finances and financial future are secure. You need to have a financially savvy law firm on your side, like Citino Family Law LLC.

High Net Worth Divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino
High Net Worth Divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino

Asset division

Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided fairly (not equally). When you have high value assets, property division can take more time and usually requires additional experts, like forensic accountants or experts in business valuation. It is essential that high-value assets are appraised correctly, so you have a more equitable property settlement. Aside from the value of your assets, the Illinois Court will also consider the duration of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, each spouse’s earning potential and contributions, the length of the marriage, parental responsibility, maintenance, and taxes.

For some of these things, there are standards and even formulas. However, these may not apply in a high net worth divorce. For example, the formula for spousal maintenance does not apply to couples with a combined income of more than $250,000 a year. Because there are differences when it comes to high net worth divorce, it is important to have an experienced attorney, like Maria Citino. She has helped many clients with a range of financial situations and will negotiate a solution that is best for you.

Tax implications in a high net worth divorce

The tax implications of asset division in your divorce is a primary reason you will want someone with experience working with high net work clients. A few of the most common tax issues are:

  • Child tax credits / exemptions – Traditionally, the person with primary custody receives the child tax credit. However, it can also be given to the person with the higher income level. 
  • Filing status – You and your partner cannot file a joint return and will need to adjust your withholdings.
  • Liquidation of assets – Liquidation of assets could trigger capital gains tax liability..
  • Retirement accounts / benefits – There are penalties from accessing money in retirement accounts early.
  • Spousal support – Support needs to be set up in a way that limits the tax liability for you.

As a family law firm, Citino Family Law LLC will accurately assess the short and long term tax implications of asset division in a high net worth divorce and will ensure that your financial future is protected.

High Net Worth Divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino
High Net Worth Divorce | Citino Family Law LLC | Maria Citino

Obtain an experienced attorney

Divorce does not have to be a stressful process. It can be made easier with the right legal counsel. You need someone who understands the financial issues involved in a high net worth divorce, as well as how to protect your assets while you work out agreements on everything from property division to custody and support. Contact Citino Family Law today for a consultation.