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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.

Posted on in Business Valuation

Illinois divorce attorneyWhen a couple decides to divorce, the assets and debts accumulated during their marriage will be equitably distributed, meaning that each spouse is given the fairest possible portion of those items. Sometimes this means that assets are sold off so that they can be converted into liquid funds, and nowhere does this get more complex than if a family business exists. Very often there are hard feelings, and even if there are not, it can be very time-consuming and confusing ensuring that a proper valuation is reached so the business can be sold for an appropriate amount.

Asset Distribution in Illinois

Illinois is a state that follows the equitable distribution theory of marital asset management, which means that rather than simply dividing assets down the middle, each one is valued and weighed so that each spouse can continue to live in a comfortable fashion. “Comfortable” is necessarily subjective, because each spouse will have different obligations to meet. For example, a person with an advanced degree who makes a significant amount of money may be awarded fewer marital assets because they have a greater earning potential than their spouse that lacks education.


Posted on in Child Support

Illinois divorce attorney

During a divorce, there are some occasions when one spouse is ordered by the court to pay both spousal maintenance and child support. However, the financial burden created by such an arrangement can be painful, especially considering the income tax treatment of child support and spousal maintenance. Illinois law permits the parties, who reach a settlement agreement, to classify both kinds of support payments in such a way as to keep more money in the hands of the family due to tax savings. 


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’s 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.

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