In a high net worth divorce, there is more likely to be unique assets that are not found in a typical divorce, such as privately-owned stock or stock that is not publicly traded. There also may be a small business asset that has 100 shares of a stock that is divided among four owners. This could lead to some issues when attempting to divide the assets in a Will County high net worth divorce. Therefore, it may be wise to consult with an experienced high net divorce attorney. Call today and set up a consultation.
The role of a prenuptial agreement when dividing assets in a Will County high net worth divorce is to clearly define that anything one party may have prior to the marriage would remain that person’s sole and separate property in the event of a divorce. It could also mean that anything acquired during the marriage could remain the sole and separate property of that party.
For example, if one party earns a million dollars or more a year, anything that they had saved prior to the marriage would be considered non-marital property, whether or not they had a prenuptial agreement. However, if they continued to earn a million dollars per year during the marriage that money earned during the marriage would be considered marital property without a prenuptial agreement.
A good prenuptial agreement could say anything earned during the marriage by the high-income earner would remain the sole and separate property of that high-income earner. Any future contributions to retirement accounts made during the marriage by that high-income earner and any purchases of property, if purchased solely in their name, would remain the individual property of that high net earner. A prenuptial agreement would also come into play for purposes of maintenance or alimony. The high-income earner could say, in the event of the divorce, the low-income earner is not entitled to any maintenance, regardless of the situation.
The value of a couple’s primary residence plays into the valuation of their assets as one of many things within a marital estate. For typical divorces in Will County, the couple’s primary residence is often the largest asset. The parties evaluate the marital residence, try to determine its value, and apportion it between the parties. If one party is going to stay in a marital residence, they may have to buy out the other party either with cash or with some other asset to offset the equity in the home.
In the event that the couple primarily resides in more than one home, one could be the primary home and the other could be the secondary residence. If one party lives in one house and the other lives in the other house, that could be a simple solution. This means that each one is awarded the house that they live in, but would have to try and offset the values to make sure that it is as equitable as possible. It is important to understand when dividing assets in a Will County high net worth divorce, it does not have to be equal but equitable.
If one of the houses is a million-dollar home in the suburbs and the other is a $200,000 lake home, the values are not fair on both sides. Therefore, the two parties would have to try and level it out with either a cash buyout or other assets.
Treatment of inherited assets changes in a divorce when the non-relative spouse wants to claim the property. Inheritance is one of the known exceptions to the standard definition of marital property versus non-marital property. According to the standard definition, anything acquired during the marriage is presumed to be marital property. However, inheritance is one of the exceptions. The other exception is a gift. If, during the marriage, somebody inherits money separately in their own name and they keep it separate, it is non-marital property.
For example, if a wife inherits $100,000 from her mother and those funds are placed into a savings account solely in the wife’s name, those funds remain 100 percent the wife’s funds under the law so long as she does not commingle the funds with a marital account. If the wife were to take those funds and put them into a joint account, they could be considered marital funds. In that scenario, an attorney would have to do more analysis of the facts to determine if they could identify that $100,000. If a party inherits money and keeps it separate, it would remain their money when the divorce is completed. The non-related spouse would then have no rights to that property.
For more information about dividing assets in a Will County high net worth divorce, contact an accomplished lawyer today.