When married people come from different countries or have strong international ties, it can quickly complicate a divorce. Where some U.S. divorces are rather simple, any international connections could be perfect hiding places to try to keep money away from you.

What makes international assets complicated in a divorce?

With the internet, it is easier than ever to communicate with overseas banks or people to move assets instantly across tens of thousands of miles. During a divorce, this could make it easier to hide money.

If you do not know about overseas inheritances or connections, you might not think to ask about them during a divorce. This could short you out of a significant amount of money in your settlement.

How do you look for hidden assets?

Assets come in all shapes and sizes. Banks can move them, but people can also move them. However, assets usually leave some sort of a trail.

Your legal team can help to hire a forensic accountant if you suspect your spouse is hiding assets. They know how to work within the legal system to force your spouse to produce documents proving what they owe and how much it is worth.

The following are examples of ways people hide assets internationally:

  • Asking a family member or friend to hold onto something in another country.
  • Asking a family member or friend to invest something in another country.
  • Opening an offshore bank account through a local office.
  • Waiting to claim or tell you about an inheritance overseas.
  • Purchase property or vehicles in another country or sell it quickly while underreporting its value.
  • Find help with overseas co-workers or employers (such as an overseas retirement funds)

It is important that you do not underestimate your spouse’s ability or creativity to hide assets. Allow your legal team to investigate tax documents, county offices, courthouses, and other records to find assets they think they’ve hidden.

During a divorce, don’t let your spouse cheat you out of hundreds or thousands of dollars. Explore your legal options to learn how the right legal team can find these hidden assets and help you get what you are owed.