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Hiding offshore accounts is illegal, not the accounts themselves

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2018 | Family Law |

One way that people try to hide assets during a divorce is by putting those assets in an offshore account and then lying about their existence during the divorce.

This sometimes works when one spouse knows far more about the family’s finances than the other. For instance, perhaps you have always let your spouse handle money. You did not work, opting to raise the kids. You knew you had bills, but they always got paid on time without your input, so you never worried about it. Any time you asked your spouse if you could buy something, he or she acted like there was plenty of money.

Would you honestly know if money was hidden in an offshore account? If your spouse had $200,000 stashed overseas, would you catch it? Many people do not, which is why it is so important to gather financial evidence during a divorce.

All that being said, it is wise to remember that these accounts themselves are not illegal. Your spouse can use offshore accounts to keep money safe, to pay less in taxes, to finance overseas businesses, to invest in foreign currencies and for a variety of other reasons. That’s all legal. The only point where it crosses a line is if your spouse then hides these accounts during the divorce.

So, if you think that your spouse uses offshore accounts, be wary of them during divorce and keep your eyes open for any red flags. When you see them, make sure that you know all of the legal options you have to get a fair division of assets.

Source: Investopedia, “Offshore Banking Isn’t Illegal. Hiding It Is,” Tim Parker, accessed May 18, 2018


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