DuPage County Divorce Attorney for Wealth Protection

Carol Stream divorce and asset protection attorney

Lawyers for Protecting Family Businesses in Wheaton, Naperville, and Glen Ellyn

Getting a divorce involves many complex financial decisions in which spouses determine how to divide their marital assets and debts. These situations can seem especially difficult and fraught with emotion if either spouse came from a wealthy family or had significant assets before getting married. A spouse who is involved in owning and operating a family business may also have concerns about how their divorce will affect this business. To ensure that these matters are addressed properly, it is crucial to secure legal representation from an experienced family law attorney.

At McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C., our lawyers have more than 65 years of combined legal experience, and we have worked with divorcing clients to address a wide variety of complicated financial issues. When addressing financial concerns during your divorce, we will explain how the laws apply to your situation, and we will work to determine the best solution for dividing your marital property in a way that protects your business or your family's wealth.

Division of Family Businesses

When one or both spouses own business interests, they typically have three options during divorce: sell the business and divide the proceeds, have one spouse "buy out" the other spouse's share of the business, or continue to co-own the business together. In many cases, business owners will want to do everything they can to keep their business intact and operational, since it represents a significant investment and source of income. This is especially true for professional practices owned and operated by doctors, dentists, accountants, attorneys, or others. In some cases, other family members may also be involved in owning, managing, or working for a family business, and keeping the business in operation will make sure their livelihoods are not threatened.

Whether spouses will be selling a business or not, performing a business valuation is an essential step that will need to be taken. This will help them understand the actual monetary value of the business so that it can be addressed alongside other marital property. If one spouse wishes to keep the business running, he or she can purchase the other spouse's share of the business either through a monetary payment or a share of other marital assets of similar value. If the spouses will continue working together as business partners after divorce, they should be sure to have a clear partnership agreement in place that defines their roles and responsibilities, and they may want to make provisions that will allow one spouse to buy out the other's share at a later date.

Wealth Protection Methods

In addition to family businesses, there are a variety of other high-value assets that spouses may be concerned about during divorce. These may include stocks, bonds, and other investments; bonuses, benefits, and other forms of executive compensation; or 401(k)s, IRA, or other retirement savings or pensions. High-profile people such as celebrities or public figures or those who come from wealthy families may also need to address large incomes, high-value assets such as artwork or jewelry, or other forms of family wealth.

In many cases, the best way to address assets or wealth is to put protections in place before getting married or before divorce enters the picture. Those who enter a marriage with high incomes, significant assets, or business interests may want to use a prenuptial agreement that will specify that certain property will remain a non-marital asset or to decide whether spousal maintenance will be paid in the event of divorce. If a spouse founds a business during a couple's marriage, a postnuptial agreement can function in a similar manner and decide how ownership of the business will be handled if the couple ever gets divorced.

Another way to protect family wealth or other non-marital assets is through the use of an asset protection trust. Placing non-marital assets in the control of a trustee will keep them from becoming commingled with marital assets, ensuring that they will not be subject to division during divorce. Instructions can be provided for how the assets should be distributed to a spouse, children, or other family members.

Contact a Warrenville Asset Protection Lawyer

If you have significant assets or own a family business or professional practice, you will want to be sure these matters are addressed properly during the divorce process. Our attorneys will fight to protect your rights in these matters and ensure that you maintain ownership of what is yours. Contact McSwain Nagle & Giese, P.C. at 630-407-1200 for a free consultation. We assist with divorce and family law cases in Naperville, Warrenville, Winfield, Wheaton, Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, and throughout DuPage, Cook, Will, Kendall, and Kane Counties.

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