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Divorces involving spouses from two different countries may present the issue of dividing assets owned by one or both spouses in a location other than America. This can present a number of complications for an Illinois divorce because if a spouse is determined to hide international assets or lie about their value, it can be difficult to find or assess the exact value of an asset. Fortunately, attorneys with experience with dissolution of arranged marriages can help spouses who own complex assets overseas divide their assets fairly.
Whether a piece of property, bank account, or investment is owned in the U.S. or abroad, if it was earned or purchased during a marriage using marital funds, it is marital property. There are some exceptions, however–anything inherited generally remains the personal property of the inheriting spouse; likewise, if a spouse purchased an asset with inherited funds, that asset may be that spouse’s personal property. If a couple signed a prenuptial agreement protecting certain assets, as long as the prenuptial agreement is fair and reasonable, it will also be protected during the divorce.
In a best-case scenario, spouses will agree about the value of international assets. However, if spouses disagree, one or both spouses can hire an appraiser to independently verify the value of an asset and testify before an Illinois judge if necessary. Unfortunately, Illinois judges do not have jurisdiction over courts in other countries, making it difficult to enforce compliance from recalcitrant or dishonest spouses with international assets. Nevertheless, if a spouse refuses to cooperate or is clearly failing to follow the law in Illinois, he or she may face sanctions from an Illinois court.
Sometimes spouses will try to get out ahead in their divorce by hiding assets or lying about their value. Financial experts and special investigators with training and experience can often track down international assets and help spouses and their attorneys present evidence of these assets, including their value. When faced with incontrovertible evidence that they are hiding assets, a spouse will often come clean for the remainder of the divorce proceedings under threat of court sanctions.
Managing international assets in your Illinois divorce requires deft organizational skills and keen knowledge of state, national, and international law. For help with these complex issues, contact the experienced team of Hinsdale, IL international asset division attorneys with Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio. We have helped many couples, including those in arranged marriages, dissolve their relationship and move on to the next stage of their lives. Call us now at 630-920-8855 to schedule a complimentary, confidential consultation.