Many parts of a divorce can get complicated. For example, dividing property can be contentious. In Illinois, there is an equitable-division law, meaning the assets accumulated during marriage are equitably divided.

However, what happens when assets are outside the US or held in trust? If you are dealing with this issue in your divorce, talk to a Chicago asset division attorney at the law office of Michael. C. Craven.

Foreign Assets And Properties In A Divorce

Married couples have many reasons for holding overseas properties. For example, you bought a condominium in the Cayman Islands that you visit every summer or you allow a parent or family member live in. Or you resided in Spain and kept some of your assets in foreign accounts. Other reasons include hiding assets from a partner or the U.S. government.

Common overseas assets your attorney can look for in a divorce are:

  • Overseas bank and financial accounts
  • Overseas retirement accounts or benefits
  • Business investments
  • Second or third homes
  • Trusts and other assets held in the name of an entity or other person

Why Are Assets Outside The U.S. Difficult In A Divorce?

The laws of foreign nations are not governed by U.S. property, discovery, and other laws. Plus, there are many U.S. people with dual citizenship and many foreign countries’ laws protect their citizen’s even when they are dual citizens of the U.S. Also, certain countries’ laws are very different than ours with biases that do not exist in the U.S. In some countries the level of corruption is high and the legal system can work against enforcing U.S. court orders.

Other countries have strict privacy laws that are intended to create a haven for people from around the world can hide their money from other countries’ taxes or from people. In those foreign countries, it can be more challenging for your attorney to locate those assets.

These challenges can incentivize a spouse to acquire foreign properties and accounts to hide assets. If you or your spouse own foreign investments, or if you suspect your spouse has them, get as much information as possible early in the process. Your attorney will need information to help narrow the investigation to a particular country or countries. Since getting records from foreign countries is difficult, providing information and documentation that proves that money was transferred from a U.S. source can be very helpful.

Trusts In A Divorce

Some spouses may try to hide their assets in an undisclosed trust or in the name of another person. If you think your spouse may be hiding assets or income, it is essential to let your attorney know your suspicions. This will alert your attorney to be on the lookout for evidence of unknown trusts and other hidden accounts. In cases of a sophisticated scheme, your lawyer may assemble a team that can include a forensic accountant with the goal of ensuring complete and fair disclosure of all marital property.

The process often includes tracing all inflows of monies into accounts and investments and identifying where the outflows went. This may require a review of voluminous documents such as personal, business, and trust tax returns, bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, and other financial documents.

Speak To Chicago Asset Division Attorneys Today

If you are going through a divorce that involves a trust, overseas assets, or other suspected hidden assets, they must be searched for during the discovery phase. This will ensure you receive a fair share of the marital assets. If you think your spouse is trying to hide overseas, trust assets or other assets talk to a Chicago asset division attorney at the office of Michael C. Craven.

Our Illinois asset division attorneys are proud to work with clients in Chicago and Cook, Lake, Will, DuPage, McHenry, and Kane counties. Contact us today for help with asset property division in your divorce.

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