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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.

Lombard high net worth divorce attorneyWhen a married couple decides to end their relationship, the process of divorce can often be complicated and difficult. Whether the divorce is contentious or amicable, separating two lives that have been closely linked for years may raise some never before considered questions. When a couple has a high net worth, things become much more complex. As couples work to reach an agreement on how to divide their marital property, they should be aware of the following issues: 

  1. Stock options - Even if they do not fully vest until after a divorce is finalized, stock options may be considered marital property and be subject to property division in divorce if they were awarded during the marriage. However, in some cases, other considerations may apply, such as if options were awarded to promote future employment or performance. 
  1. Investments and retirement accounts - The marital portion of 401(k) or IRA accounts or pensions may be divided equally between spouses, without incurring income taxes or penalties. In the case of certain pensions and 401(k) accounts, funds are transferred between spouses using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). The QDRO is a separate order, usually entered by the Court following the divorce decree, which directs the plan administrator to transfer marital funds to the IRS-qualified retirement account of the former spouse. On the other hand, Individual Retirement Accounts may be transferred without the entry of a QDRO and in accordance with the terms of the divorce decree.
  1. Business valuation - Businesses owned by one or both spouses may be considered marital property if they were established or acquired during the marriage. If one spouse owns a business he/she acquired prior to the marriage, but the other spouse contributed to the business, then the business may be considered marital property and be subject to division. Often times, it is impractical to close the business or sell its assets to divide the proceeds between spouses. Rather, one spouse may desire to own the business and continue to operate it, free and clear of the other spouse. In these cases, a valuation of the business must be performed to determine the fair market value of the business so that some other marital asset of equal or similar value may be awarded to the other spouse.  
  1. Real estate - Any real property owned jointly by both spouses is subject to equitable division. If one spouse owned a residence prior to the marriage, but the other spouse contributed to improvements to the home during the marriage, then it may retain its non-marital status. But, the other spouse may be entitled to a reimbursement for his/her contribution to the other spouse‚Äôs non-marital estate. 
  1. Tax consequences - Spouses should be aware of whether property transferred into their name pursuant to the divorce judgment will be tax-free or subject to regular income taxes or capital gains - and take this into consideration when deciding how to divide property. 

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

During a high net worth divorce, it is always a good idea to review your finances with a skilled attorney to be sure you fully understand the implications of the decisions you make as you divide your marital property, assets, and debts. The experienced divorce attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. will work with you to protect your rights and promote your best interests throughout the divorce process. Contact our Oak Brook property division attorneys at 630-472-9700 to schedule a free consultation. 



Posted on in Divorce

Getting a divorce is difficult in many different ways. It changes the lives of everyone involved, causing stress, grief and a host of other negative emotions. In addition, divorce is also expensive. Court costs, lawyer fees and other expenses can add up quickly, making the situation even more trying for both parties. Below are some of the most common questions about the cost of divorce.

What costs are involved in divorce?

When you divorce your spouse, you may pay:

  • Attorney fees
  • Court costs
  • Mediation fees
  • Parent education expenses
  • Fees related to changing ownership of property (refinancing, title transfer, etc)

How much would it cost to get a divorce without a lawyer?

It may possible to purchase a divorce kit on the internet and represent yourself for under $100. In this case, you will also need to pay any costs not including in this amount, such as the cost of parenting education classes. However, unless your divorce case is extremely simple and you are on good terms with your spouse, choosing to represent yourself may not be the best decision.


The state of Illinois recognizes that many children may experience negative short-term and long-term effects related to their parents' divorce. To help mitigate the impact, parents with minor children who file for divorce are required to attend and complete a class. DuPage County offers a helpful summary of the parent education requirement and information about enrolling in the mandatory class.

What is the Law?


Watching your child grow and develop is among the most sublime experiences a parent will ever know. It follows, however, that changes in growth and development also affect the child's needs in many areas, including physical, emotional, mental, and educational requirements. A child of divorced or unmarried parents may have had such needs considered during the initial establishment of a child support order, which, consequently, may require updating.

In addition to the evolving needs of the child, a support order may also need to be updated as the result of other situational changes surrounding the family. Understanding the need for modification, though, begins with a clear comprehension of how a child support order is determined in the first place.

Income and Other Factors


Any situation involving unmarried or divorced parents can certainly be difficult. Cases in which the relationship between the parents is contentious and bitter are even more challenging. Regardless of the comfort level between the adults, however, every child deserves a relationship with both parents. Under Illinois law, visitation is one of the means by which a parent may seek to foster such a relationship.

Joint Custody or Sole Custody

In a post-divorce or unmarried parent situation, the court may elect to grant joint custody to both parents, based on an arrangement for shared parenting responsibilities and decision-making. However, such an agreement is not always possible or in the best interest of the child. When it is not, the court will grant custody solely to one parent, leaving that parent responsible for the daily decisions related to raising the child. The law, in such cases, expressly recognizes the right of the non-custodial parents to "reasonable visitation," based on the assumption that parental involvement is nearly always in the child's best interest.

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