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Chicago Divorce Lawyer for Complex Financial Issues

Wrightwood Complex Finances in Divorce Lawyer

Attorney in Cook County for the Division of Business Interests, Real Estate, and Retirement Savings

The process of dividing marital property during an Illinois divorce can be complicated for many reasons. This is especially true for couples with substantial wealth or a high net-worth, as these situations often involve complex assets, such as real estate interests, business holdings, investments, and retirement savings. Even tangible objects such as artwork and jewelry can present challenges during divorce due to the subjective nature of appraisals and valuations. If you are getting divorced and you have concerns about dividing complex assets, the team at The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC is uniquely suited to help you.

Attorney Curtis Bennett Ross is both a distinguished divorce lawyer and a Certified Public Accountant who has been recognized as a financial expert and receiver by a number of Illinois courts. Very few lawyers in the region have the financial background that Mr. Ross does, and with more than 30 years of experience, he knows how to protect your best interests during your divorce. No matter how complicated your financial situation may be, Mr. Ross and his team are equipped to provide the guidance you need.

Equitable Distribution Lawyer in Oak Park

Illinois law regarding the division of property in divorce follows the principles of equitable distribution, which means that each spouse will get a fair and just portion of the couple's marital property. "Fair and just" does not necessarily mean equal. Instead, the share that each spouse receives will be determined by the circumstances of the case and each party's needs.

Under Illinois law, only a couple's marital property is subject to division during divorce. Marital property is defined as any assets or debts acquired by either party during the marriage, with limited exceptions for gifts or inheritances to just one spouse. Any property acquired by one of the spouses prior to the marriage is usually considered separate or non-marital and will not be divided.

Determining the Contents of the Marital Estate

In many high-asset divorces, the couple's property includes a mixture of marital and non-marital assets. For example, one of the spouses may have started a business before the marriage, then started a second business after getting married. This may sound simple enough: the first business would be a non-marital asset, and the second business would be a marital asset in the event of a divorce. Unfortunately, the reality is likely to be much more complicated.

If the spouse spent time and money during the marriage to increase the value of the first business, the increase in value would likely be considered part of the marital estate, despite the business itself being non-marital. Similar scenarios could arise regarding real estate holdings, retirement investments, and many other types of assets. In cases such as these, it is crucial to work closely with an experienced attorney like Mr. Ross to be sure that your rights are fully protected.

Other Complex Assets to Consider

While assets with value as both marital and non-marital property can certainly complicate the asset division process in an Illinois divorce, there are many other types of complex assets that could present challenges as well. For example, if you and your spouse invested in rental properties during your marriage, the value of the properties must be considered during the divorce. The same is true for a jointly-held business or professional practice. When conducting a valuation of an investment property or a jointly-held business, you may need help from a financial professional who can accurately set a value based on prior performance, current and predicted market conditions, and the current assets and liabilities of such holdings.

Property Considerations in Place of Maintenance

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/504), the court may order spousal maintenance to be paid by a higher-earning spouse to a lower-earning spouse if necessary to alleviate the financial impact of a divorce. In some situations, however, the court—or the spouses—may determine that the lower-earning spouse would be better served by receiving a larger share of the marital estate instead of ongoing maintenance payments. The law allows for such an arrangement, and our team can help you and your spouse understand your options regarding maintenance and asset division.

Let Us Help You

For more information about dividing complex assets in an Illinois divorce, contact us today. Call The Law Offices of Curtis Bennett Ross, LLC at 312-984-1514 for a free, limited consultation. We work on behalf of clients in Chicago, The Loop, Greektown, River North, Gold Coast, Wicker Park, Andersonville, Old Town, Oak Park, and throughout Cook County.

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