YUMA, Arizona. One of the
tactics of the ultra-rich has been to hide assets in offshore accounts.
According to Forbes
until very recently, Panama was a tax haven and a place where the wealthy would
send their assets to hide the money from creditors and the IRS. Fortunately,
changes in free trade agreements and laws have made it harder for the wealthy
to hide money in Panama and in other countries. However, there remain other
countries that the wealthy have used to hide money and assets from spouses
during divorce. In some cases, the money had been hidden in these offshore
accounts all along and in other cases, individuals put their money in the
accounts once divorce was filed.
When this happens, a divorce
can become very complex. It can be difficult to track down the funds. If assets
are placed abroad, local courts may not have jurisdiction. For example, in one
of the most expensive divorces in English history, a Russian oligarch moved a
$500,000 yacht to Dubai. The New
reports that the oligarch was ordered by an English judge
to pay his ex-wife $646 million. Yet, when the oligarch refused, the judge ordered
that the oligarch’s yacht be impounded in Dubai. The yacht’s value is just
under the figure the English courts determined that the oligarch owed his wife.
Recent rules require
individuals with offshore accounts and assets to file a form known as an FBAR.
This form requires individuals with over $10,000 in value or money in a foreign
account to report their assets to the government, making it more likely that
the government will be able to pursue and collect money owed to it. These
reporting requirements can also make it more difficult for spouses to legally
hide assets from their exes. After all, if a person is required to file an
FBAR, they would also be legally required to disclose this information to their
ex during a divorce.
Yet, when the wealthy move
assets offshore, it can be tough for individuals in the U.S. to access this
money. Foreign officials are often reluctant to cooperate.
According to Forbes, the
failure to disclose offshore accounts can result in criminal prosecution. One
way that divorce lawyers might be able to put pressure in this case is to
report failure to report civil assets to the federal government, especially if
it is known that required reporting hasn’t occurred.
No one should hide their
assets. It’s against the law and it is just not right. Divorce law allows for
the equitable distribution of marriage property. This excludes wealth a person
may have brought into the marriage, so there is no reason to try to hide
If you are going through a
divorce and have reason to believe that your ex may have been hiding assets,
consider reaching out to Schneider & Onofry, P.C. divorce
lawyers in Yuma, Arizona. Our firm works with a range of clients
facing divorce questions and concerns. We can help you. Visit us at https://www.soarizonalaw.com/.
Schneider & Onofry, P.C.
207 W. 2nd St.
Yuma, AZ 85364