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West Dundee, IL847-428-7725
St. Charles, IL630-200-4882
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Geneva high net worth divorce lawyerProperty and debt division are crucial aspects of any divorce case. However, in a high net worth divorce, the stakes are even higher. The way that spouses divide assets and debts will likely have a massive influence on both spouses’ post-divorce future. Marital misconduct like infidelity or abuse does not typically influence how Illinois courts divide assets in a divorce. However, if a spouse “dissipated” or wasted assets near the end of the marriage, the spouse may be required to reimburse the marital estate for the lost property or funds. Dissipation of assets can significantly impact the property division process.  

Destruction or Misuse of Marital Property in an Illinois Divorce

Dissipation of assets occurs when a spouse sells, uses, destroys, or spends marital property in an inappropriate manner while the marriage is nearing its end. Illinois law specifically states that dissipation involves the use of marital assets:

  • For the benefit of only one spouse
  • For a purpose not related to the marriage
  • At a time when the marriage is experiencing an irreversible breakdown

Examples of Dissipation of Assets

Paying household bills and making reasonable purchases consistent with past spending behavior is not dissipation of assets. Dissipation occurs when a spouse wastes assets.

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St. Charles divorce attorneysRegardless of the circumstances surrounding the breakdown of a marriage, divorce can be complicated. For those couples who have a high net worth, divorcing may be a very complex process. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means items are divided fairly but not necessarily in half. In order for marital assets or property to be divided, they must first be assigned a value. This can be a difficult task for unusual or unique assets that are often acquired by individuals with considerable wealth. Even if a couple is amicable at the beginning of the process, the division of property can quickly become contentious, so it is important to have an attorney by your side to protect your rights.  

Dividing Property Can Be Complex

Items or assets that are accumulated during the marriage are considered marital property. Separate or “nonmarital” property is anything that one of the spouses acquired prior to the matrimonial union. However, gifts or inheritance are also typically classified under separate property. Forensic accountants or valuation experts can help a divorce lawyer accurately assign property as marital or separate. In addition, they can provide an accurate assessment of the overall value of the marital estate, including complex matters such as a family-owned business or an expansive financial portfolio. 

Illinois courts consider several factors into account when determining how to split these assets equitably. Some of these factors include each spouse’s occupation, health, age, and income sources. 

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