Property division is likely to be a key focus in virtually any high-asset divorce in Illinois or elsewhere across the United States, for obvious reasons. Marital partners that amassed material wealth during marriage will logically want to see it equitably distributed between them in a divorce outcome.
Of course, “equitable” is at bottom a subjective term, with that subjectivity being exercised by a family law judge in a marital dissolution. The court will make a reasoned determination concerning a fair split of assets based on what can be multiple factors. Was the property brought into the marriage by one of the parties? Were marital funds used to buy, upgrade or finance an asset? Was an asset a gift to one of the partners, or an inheritance?
A recent article spotlights such issues in a singular and specific context, notably, a looming divorce marked by high-priced art work. One commentator notes that, for collectors, “art can be even more valuable than the home in which it’s hanging.”
That is sheer understatement, given the sales prices in recent years of artists like Picasso and Andy Warhol. Reference is made in one ongoing divorce drama to warring sided being “hundreds of millions of dollars apart” in their perceived value of home art collections.
For most people dealing with property-related stresses and concerns in divorce, that is obviously a writ-large scenario, but it does make a key point.
And that is this: Whether asset identification, valuation and distribution relates to real estate, investment accounts, a family business, art or something else, the process in a high-asset decoupling is bound to hit some snags and hard surfaces. A proven family law attorney with divorce experience representing individuals having significant holdings can fully protect a client’s interests and help ensure an equitable property distribution.