All divorces are not created equal, and a high net worth divorce is more complicated than traditional divorce because of the amount of wealth involved. Dividing assets and determining community assets becomes more common in these cases. These divorces involving wealthy individuals actually vary in four distinct ways. Understanding these will help those entering divorce know what to expect out of the process.
High Net Divorce Costs More
Because of the complexity involved, and the absolute need for an attorney to help, these divorces cost more. It takes more time and may require court intervention to divide assets in a wealthy estate. The cost can be slightly less if the divorcing parties take time to understand and gather all pertinent financial documents before entering divorce proceedings.
Contested Divorces Are More Common
With more money on the table and more complexities in determining what is and is not community property, these divorces are more likely to be contested. Large amounts of money make emotions run high, and people who are fighting to maintain a high quality of life are also highly likely to disagree about how to divide that money. These high net worth divorce cases often turn into long court battles as a result.
Large Spousal Maintenance and Child Support Payments Are Common
The goal of spousal maintenance payments and child support is to help the parties involved maintain a standard of living close to what they enjoyed while the marriage was in place. In order to maintain this standard of living, the divorcing parties may need to pay higher child support or alimony amounts than couples who have an average income level.
In addition, the way the support or maintenance is calculated will differ from standard divorces, because the amount of monthly income exceeds the maximums for traditional calculations based on IL divorce law. Thus, the judge will take a case-by-case basis when calculating these payments, These amounts can also be a source of contention in the divorce proceedings.
Need to Handle Out-of-State Assets
It’s more common for high-net-worth individuals to have out-of-state and international assets than the average person. These assets must be divided or considered during the divorce, and this can extend the length of time as well as the value of the divorce. It becomes just another complication in these divorces that makes working with a divorce attorney so critical.