In Chicago, high-asset divorce can be a complex and lengthy process because of how long the financial assets take to unwind. When a couple has accumulated significant wealth, it is usually in a variety of instruments and special accounts that will have rules for withdrawals, taxation and so on that complicate the picture.
What to know about the divorce process
The financial instruments that high-net-worth couples can hold might include trusts, retirement accounts, stock options and more. These have a tricky application in divorce proceedings. For example, retirement accounts that are cashed out early bring a big tax bill, and stock options might be impossible to liquidate before a vesting period. If one or both of the spouses owns a business, then the business assets might have to be part of the equation as well. Even something as simple as the house can be hard to divide because of how much value it might have.
High-net-worth divorce can take longer than regular divorce because the financial assets simply take more time to understand and divide, especially if they have any rules about waiting periods or require a tax mitigation strategy. The additional time and complexity translate into higher costs as well because that is more billable hours for the lawyers and financial advisors to work on the case. If the ex-partners can work together amicably, then it speeds up the process and lowers the cost, so this is a good opportunity for working together.
Divorce between people with many assets is not straightforward, and each case will look different. However, the parties have to be able to form a good working relationship for the best outcomes.