Physicians have stressful jobs. The demands of the profession can put a tremendous amount of pressure on a doctor and their family. If divorce becomes the right path forward, there are some unique considerations doctors and their spouses should keep in mind. Here, our Naperville and Bolingbrook high net worth divorce attorneys highlight four key issues for medical professionals and spouses going through a marital separation in Illinois.
The Value and Viability of a Medical Practice
One of the most challenging issues for doctors going through a divorce is protecting their medical practice. Under Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/503), marital property is split in an equitable manner. A medical practice may be deemed marital property — especially if it was formed or grew in value after the start of the marriage. As joint property, the value of the practice could be subject to equitable distribution. It is crucial the value and viability of a medical practice are protected through the divorce. An Illinois divorce lawyer can help you find the best solution.
Medical School Debt Could Be a Marital Liability
While doctors often have high salaries, they also tend to carry more debt than the average person. As the cost of medical school in the U.S. is extraordinarily high, many doctors still have student loan debt well into their professional careers. Student loan debt may be deemed a marital liability — even if the debt was incurred prior to the start of the marriage. Any outstanding medical school loans should be considered as part of a doctor’s divorce.
Alimony May Be an Issue
Like other high net worth professions, alimony is more likely to be an issue in a divorce involving a doctor. If there is a significant gap in each spouse’s current salary and/or their future economic prospects, the court may deem spousal support appropriate. The longer a marriage lasts and the more career-related sacrifices the lower-earning spouse makes for the family, the higher the odds alimony will be granted.
Long, Inconsistent Work Hours Can Affect the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
Many doctors are required to work long, inconsistent, or otherwise non-traditional hours. The grinding nature of the profession can sometimes be an issue in custody and visitation cases. Illinois officially uses the term “allocation of parental responsibilities” instead of the term “child custody.” Each parent’s career obligations may be a factor when allocating parenting time. If you are a parent going through a divorce, it is imperative you can protect your parental rights and come to an arrangement that works well for your family.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with an Illinois Divorce Lawyer
At Keller Legal Services, our Naperville and Bolingbrook divorce lawyers have the skills and experience to represent clients in high net worth divorce cases, including those involving doctors and other medical professionals. Contact us today for a confidential initial consultation. From our conveniently located offices in Bolingbrook and Wheaton, we represent clients throughout the surrounding communities in Illinois.