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What Happens to Overseas Assets in an Illinois Divorce? 

Posted on in Divorce

wheaton divorce lawyerCrime novels and action films are rife with overseas bank accounts and luxury properties, where criminals hide money and conduct their nefarious deeds with little or no consequences. While much of the public awareness about international assets is based on fiction, there are real overseas assets and they play an important role in Illinois divorces

Absent a valid pre- or postnuptial agreement, spouses with overseas assets must divide them just like any other asset in the marital property division process. And while most owners of foreign assets are a far cry from the criminals of pop culture, it is true that offshore assets are often used as a resource for spouses who want to hide money during their divorce. 

Spouses Hiding Marital Property Overseas 

When a spouse is suspected of hiding assets overseas, a team of competent investigative financial experts is often required to find and value the assets. Together with attorneys who understand how federal, local, and international divorce law can influence the property division process, spouses can utilize the help of these professionals to obtain the true value of their marital property to which they are entitled. 

Foreign Assets are Marital Assets

All property acquired during a marriage is considered marital property under Illinois law, no matter where it is located or which spouse bought it. The only exceptions to this are properties or assets held by a spouse which were inherited or bought with funds or proceeds protected by a prenuptial agreement. If the husband of a married couple receives a substantial bonus from work and the couple decides to buy a vacation home in France, the wife is entitled to a share of that property as well, even if the home was entirely purchased with the husband’s bonus money. 

Valuing Foreign Property During Divorce

If spouses cannot agree on the value of a property or other asset, they will hire an appraiser or someone who specializes in that type of asset to determine its worth. If the spouses still continue to disagree about the appraiser’s assessment, they may each hire their own appraiser to provide testimony to a judge about the asset’s value and the method used to assess the value. 

This can get quite complicated when the asset division process involves divorce regulations in another country because Illinois courts have no jurisdiction or power to enforce the law in other countries. However, Illinois courts may use legal consequences in Illinois to enforce compliance from uncooperative spouses regarding the foreign divorce process. Ideally, spouses will negotiate a mutually acceptable compromise so an intensive foreign property division can be avoided. 

Work with a Wheaton, IL Asset Division Lawyer

Handling overseas assets in a divorce requires experience and skill. At The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., our DuPage County divorce attorneys have both. We can help you build a team of professionals to discover hidden assets and create a plan for your divorce that protects your property interests. Contact us today at 630-462-9500 to schedule a confidential consultation. 







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