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Residents of Illinois may own assets outside of the U.S. for many reasons. Perhaps they are a citizen of another country who lives in Illinois but owns property abroad or are a native Chicagoan with business interests in another part of the world. Regardless of why someone owns international assets, Illinois divorce law requires that these assets be considered as part of the divorce process.
Asset division in a divorce is nearly always a complex and disputed process, and this is especially true when international assets are concerned. The allocation of assets located outside of the United States is influenced not only by U.S. law, but also by the laws in the countries in which the assets are located.
Illinois law prescribes that all property acquired during the marriage is marital property, regardless of where it is located. If marital funds have been spent on an asset, even in part, both spouses will likely be entitled to a portion of the asset’s value. Non-marital property is property acquired before the couple wed or property acquired through inheritance or gifts. Property may also be considered non-marital if the property is excluded from the marital estate through a valid prenuptial agreement.
It is common for a spouse to discover that their partner is manipulating the worth of a foreign asset to avoid an equitable distribution of marital property. When spouses cannot agree on an asset’s value, both spouses will typically hire a financial professional to determine the value of the asset.
Sometimes, if the process of dividing foreign assets is too complicated, a judge will decide to “reserve” the distribution of foreign property. Then, spouses can register the final divorce documents in the country where the asset is located and use that country’s divorce laws to divide and allocate the asset. Because of the complexity involved in these proceedings, it is ideal if spouses can decide among themselves how to divide up foreign assets.
Unfortunately, divorcing spouses often find that the partner who owns international assets is attempting to hide their existence or location. Martoccio & Martoccio has experience finding hidden assets and understands the overlap of local, federal, and international law. Our firm works with financial experts who specialize in handling international assets and can help find, value, and establish ownership of these assets.
Handling foreign assets in a divorce requires skill and experience. The Hinsdale divorce attorneys with the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio will aggressively represent your interests and help you understand your options under Illinois, U.S., and international law. Call us for a free and confidential consultation at 630-920-8855.