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Divorce Considerations for Spouses with High Income Disparity

Posted on in Illinois Divorce

St. Charles property division lawyersThere is no doubt that divorce can affect nearly every aspect of a person’s life. However, the financial implications of divorce are often some of the most difficult consequences to deal with. The financial impact of a divorce is especially apparent when spouses have substantially different incomes. Spouses who chose to be a homemaker or stay-at-home parent may find that they lack the employment history and job skills needed to find suitable employment after divorce. Spouses who are disabled or otherwise unable to work may also be at a great financial disadvantage. There could also be a significant income disparity if both spouses work but one spouse makes much more money than the other spouse.

If you are getting divorced and you make significantly less or significantly more than your spouse, it is important to understand how this income inequality can impact the process and outcome.

Property Division Issues and Complex Assets

Many people with a higher-than-average income choose to invest their earnings into stocks, bonds, CDs, real estate, businesses, and other investments. Properly valuing and dividing complex assets like these in a divorce typically requires assistance from a skilled financial professional, in addition to legal guidance from a divorce lawyer. In Illinois, marital property includes property that was acquired during the marriage. Investments a spouse made before the marriage may be his or hers alone; however, the increase in value of the asset may be marital property to which both spouses are entitled.

Spousal Maintenance May Be a Factor in Your Divorce

Spousal maintenance or alimony is not always awarded in an Illinois divorce, but it is more common in divorce cases involving significant income disparity. Unless you and your spouse agree on spousal maintenance terms or you have a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that determines maintenance payments, the decision will be left to the court. Illinois courts consider the standard of living established during the marriage, each spouse’s income and assets, the spouses’ employability, and several other factors when determining whether to award spousal maintenance. The amount of spousal maintenance a spouse will receive is typically based on the difference between the spouses’ net incomes.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

If you and your spouse have significantly different incomes, you should know that this will likely complicate your divorce. At Weiler & Lengle P.C., we are well versed in the complicated issues associated with high net worth divorce cases. Our Kane County divorce attorneys can help you address these challenges head-on. Call 630-382-8050 for a confidential consultation.



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